How do I cope with the fear and sadness I am experiencing?

This is one of the things I often get asked as a therapist by someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or has a loved one with cancer,

First of all, fear and sadness are both normal reactions for anyone going through something uncertain or unknown. Fear is your body’s way of protecting you. It’s okay to feel fearful and sad, but if these emotions constantly overwhelm you and take over your life, then it is not healthy nor helpful.

Simple breathing exercise. Breathing is a good way to ground you. If you can imagine a boat out in the sea and it gets caught in a storm. The boat gets buffeted by the waves and is in danger of capsizing. What do you do if you are in a boat that is caught in a storm? You drop anchor. The anchor will steady the boat. The storm is still there but the boat is steady and will not get carried away by the storm.

When you get caught in an emotional storm, use your breath to anchor you. Slowing your breath helps ground you while you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of fear and sadness.

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