Fear, anxiety and stress
An unexpected diagnosis that shatters your dreams of a comfortable, predictable life can trigger fear and vulnerability. In the face of danger and uncertainty, the brain begins to create stories to try to explain the situation and restore a sense of predictability and control.
The feeling of anxiety prepares you for an uncertain future
It is important to realise that your thoughts about the future are not the fact or reality of the future. The feeling of anxiety, on the other hand, prepares you for an uncertain future, for things that might happen. An anxious person tends to make assumptions that may or may not be based on reality.
By facing your feelings of fear, you help yourself to protect yourself
Fear can be accompanied by anxiety and a prolonged state of stress. Fear is an important emotion whose purpose is to warn us of danger. In cancer, fear is often associated with fear of loss of life and close relationships. You may think that by being constantly overprotective and even anxious, you can prevent bad things from happening. Feelings can prevent you from doing things that are meaningful to you and important for your recovery.
When you have cancer, feeling anxious is very understandable. It activates a state of stress in the body as a preparation to protect yourself from threatening things. The situation can become a vicious circle, where anxious thoughts and fear perpetuate this state of stress. The more anxious you are, the more things you fear, and the more fearful and anxious you are, the more the state of stress is present in your body. It is possible to stop this vicious circle by raising awareness. (By facing your feelings of fear, you help yourself to protect and defend yourself. By facing your fear, you will be better equipped to make more conscious decisions.
Around 80% of people with cancer experience insomnia during treatment. This can be caused by medication, stress, anxiety, etc. In the middle of the night, thoughts often seem more threatening. It is good to bear in mind that in the morning, thoughts often look very different in the light of day. Even if sleep is delayed, try to avoid sleep-related stress.