A leukaemia diagnosis can be overwhelming for both the patient and their family and friends. During this time, it may be beneficial to adopt some relaxation techniques as a way of combatting stress and anxiety. This is where mindfulness can help.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a psychological, self-help therapy that focuses on becoming more aware of your surroundings and the current moment. Doing so can help to reduce stress levels, as you are encouraged to become aware of your thoughts and feelings, without making judgements about them.
How can it help?
Relaxation and mindfulness techniques help people to unwind, de-stress, and allow the mind and body to increasingly relax. It is often used to help relieve sleep problems, reduce anxiety, to better cope with pain and discomfort caused by medical treatments, and to promote wellbeing.
Mindfulness expert Dr Caroline Hoffman, has created a series of podcasts to help support people living with leukaemia, as well as their family and friends.
Dr Hoffman commented, “When you practice mindfulness, you are training your brain into new and positive habits of coping and responding to the many stressful events that may be happening in your life. These mindfulness podcasts are aimed to support you wherever you might find yourself right now and will help you develop inner resilience.”
Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Head of Campaigns and Advocacy at Leukaemia are, said, “Mental wellbeing is extremely important, but the emotional and psychological impact of a leukaemia diagnosis is often overlooked. It’s easy to fixate on an issue and lose sight of the bigger picture of how it’s affecting you, so it is important that anybody affected by a leukaemia diagnosis takes time to step back and reflect on their wider thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness offers a way of doing this. We need more resources such as these to help patients cope with feelings of anxiety and depression.”
Dr Hoffman’s podcasts can be used at home or on the go, and whenever you may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed, such as before an appointment, or during ‘watch and wait’.
The production of these modules has been supported by AbbVie. You can listen to and download the podcasts at: https://www.abbvie.co.uk/responsibility/improving-health-outcomes/mindfulness-for-blood-cancer-patients.html
For more information on mindfulness, head to the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/mindfulness.aspx