10 Ways to Take a Break from the Stress of Cancer

10 Ways to Take a Break from the Stress of Cancer
Living & Loving with Prostate Cancer A man grown weary over the stress of coping with prostate cancer every day wrote this: "So tired of living with cancer. Wish my mind could take a break." As someone who has thought about my prostate cancer several times every day for seven years, I can relate! His accurate observation made me wonder if our brain moves into a chronic and long-term "fight-or-flight" mode when we receive a diagnosis of cancer. As an initial response to a stressful or life-threatening event, our fight-or-flight response can save our lives by helping us fight off a threat or flee to safety. If we get stuck, here's what happens: "Over time, repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on the body," according to an article from Harvard Medical School. "Research suggests that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction. More preliminary research suggests that chronic stress may also contribute to obesity, both through direct mechanisms (causing people to eat more) or indirectly (decreasing sleep and exercise)." According to Dr. Neil MD, "When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals
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