Prostate Cancer: Coping With the Disease By Using Relaxation Techniques

It’s been proven that simple relaxation techniques can actually help ease the stress and anxiety of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Patients who have received a diagnosis of prostate cancer can feel stress, anxiety and even depression. It may seem overwhelming to deal with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, the treatments for it, and the side effects. These feelings are perfectly normal. Learning to manage that stress is can be an important positive step to managing your condition.

According to a recent study, easing stress prior to prostate cancer surgery could help speed up both physical and psychological recovery. Researchers followed more than 150 men and found that those who underwent stress management sessions prior to their treatment experienced higher immunity and improved mental health months after the operation.

If you feel like your stress and anxiety are completely out of hand, by all means talk with your doctor. But there are some simple steps you can take to help you feel more calm.

Learn Some Techniques to Help You Relax

Four great ways for patients to learn to help themselves are through relaxation, breathing, medication, and guided imagery. The beauty of these tools is that they can help you get through almost any kind of stress over and above medical issues. Meditation can help center a person and give them balance and a calm feeling. Prostate cancer patients have many ways to teach their bodies to relax and release stress.

• Guided imagery. When you feel stressed or anxious, try creating a picture in your mind of peace and calmness.

• Relax your muscles. This is an exercise you can do just about anywhere. Focus on your body then tighten and release the muscles section by section. Once you experience how different each sensation feels, you can become more aware of a relaxed feeling. Many people start by relaxing their toes and work up to their head and neck.

• Breathe slowly and deeply. Take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose. Breathe in until your chest and lungs are full of air. Hold it and then after a second or two, slowly breathe out.

• Meditation. This is another exercise that you can do just about anywhere. Even while resting, walking, receiving treatment, or simply sitting in your doctor’s office. Clear your mind of all thoughts to relieve stress.

How These Relaxation Techniques Help Prostate Cancer Patients

There are physical health benefits that come as a result of alleviating stress. Reductions in stress can slow heart and breathing rates, lower blood pressure levels, reduce muscle tension, and increase blood flow in the muscles.

Patients who practice these relaxation methods are often:
• More energetic.
• Able to do more during the day.
• Experiencing less pain.
• Experiencing less anger.
• Better able to concentrate, problem-solve, and make decisions.