Before you start the video below, download or print out the exercise worksheet HERE.
OR grab a pen and piece of paper.
If you'd rather not watch the video, scroll down for the written version of this exercise.
Let's get started!
If you enjoyed this exercise, click on the link below to learn more about how our video series FLOW will help you to move through your emotions with cancer.
Part 1 – Accepting Opposites
Every cancer survivor has a unique experience and perspective on how cancer affects them.
The way you feel about cancer and how it has affected your life, will change throughout your journey. It can even change day to day.
Going through this significant experience can change your perspective on life, your relationships, or certain aspects of yourself.
It can bring on negative thoughts that evoke strong emotions within you.
In this exercise, we’re going to teach you how to validate those thoughts and emotions while accepting that THE OPPOSITE can be true at the same time.
This will help you to have a more balanced perspective and resist the urge to act on your emotions.
Here are some examples…
Now, complete the following sentences for yourself by coming up with an opposite perspective:
I love myself AND ...
I have support from friends and/ or family AND...
I have been doing everything I can to beat cancer AND...
Part 2 – Validating Your Feelings
You may feel as though your life turned upside down after your cancer diagnosis or while you were in treatment.
On the days when you get caught up in a thunderstorm, you can still experience moments where the sun comes out from behind the clouds. You don’t have to let the whole day be negative, you can choose to focus on the positive moments.
Try to think of a negative event from the past where it felt nearly impossible for you to focus on anything positive.
Write it down...
Now write down one or two things that you had discounted because you were caught up in the negativity of the moment.
Family members can also have their own emotional experiences in response to your diagnosis. But they may try to get overly involved, be controlling out of fear, or sometimes back away because they don't know how to respond.
The way they offer their support or emotions may backfire and can be upsetting for you.
Let's look at some examples of how you can validate your feelings while respecting theirs.
Since your cancer diagnosis, have you ever felt angry or frustrated towards someone close to you, but you may have discounted their feelings or intentions? Write it down.
In hindsight, are you able to see things from their perspective?
Your feelings are still valid. So write down a statement that will validate the way you were feeling AND respect how they were feeling.
Any time you have negative thoughts or feelings write them down along with the opposite of how you're feeling in the same sentence.
Doing this will help to diffuse the intensity of the negative emotions you're having, and help you to have more balanced thoughts.
Part 3 – Moving Forward
Remember that your thoughts don’t have to be all nothing. Learning to balance them out with opposite statements will help you to be less reactive to your emotions.
This will help you to be more compassionate with yourself throughout your cancer journey.
Complete the following sentences:
I feel as though cancer has turning my life upside down AND...
Cancer has affected my relationship with ____________ AND...
I don’t feel like continuing with cancer treatment AND ...
Nobody really understands what I’m going through AND ...
SPECIAL BONUS OFFER!!
We hope you’ve found this exercise helpful and that you’ll remember to use this practice when you find yourself having negative thoughts or emotions.
Just for completing this exercise we’d like to offer you a special discount of 30% off our video-series FLOW- Moving Through Your Emotions with Cancer.
Enter code save30 at the checkout!
As medical professionals we've helped countless patients work through their fears and anxiety brought on by cancer.
For this reason, we created 'FLOW' - an easy-to-follow video series that will help you move through these strong emotions with greater strength and resiliency.
You may not have the power to change your situation, but you CAN change your relationship with what is causing you suffering.
We will teach you how to change your relationship with cancer.
Taking control of your thoughts and emotions will help you navigate cancer with more strength, resilience, and self-compassion.
Click on the link below to learn more!