People diagnosed with breast cancer have many unique sources of stress.
Here, we discuss some healthy ways to help deal with this stress.
Social support is the emotional support, practical help and advice you get from your co-survivors.
Co-survivors may include:
Learn more about co-survivors.
Many people diagnosed with breast cancer expand and strengthen their emotional support systems by joining a breast cancer support group.
Learn more about support groups.
Research shows social support can benefit people diagnosed with breast cancer.
Whether it's informal support from family and friends, or more formal support from group or individual therapy, social support can improve your quality of life [15,121].
People diagnosed with breast cancer who have more social support tend to cope better emotionally than those with little support [15,121].
Learn more about the benefits of social support.
Learn more about quality of life during breast cancer treatment and quality of life after breast cancer treatment.
Talking with a trained mental health provider (such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor or clinical social worker) can reduce distress and improve mental well-being and quality of life for people diagnosed with breast cancer .
Some people prefer one-on-one counseling. Others prefer counseling in a group setting.
Mental health counseling may combine techniques such as coping skills training and relaxation exercises to help reduce stress.
Learn more about psychotherapy.
Learn more about relaxation therapy.
With mindfulness meditation (mindfulness-based stress reduction), you are aware of your thoughts and feelings, but do not interpret or judge them.
Mindfulness meditation uses breathing methods and may include guided imagery as well as other relaxation and stress reduction techniques.
Some findings show mindfulness meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, fear of recurrence and fatigue in people diagnosed with breast cancer [28,123,198]. It can also improve quality of life .
Learn more about meditation.
Learn more about guided imagery.
Being active is a healthy way to deal with daily stress.
Regular exercise (such as yoga), can help breast cancer survivors reduce stress and anxiety and give a sense of control over their bodies [14-17,124-126,198].
You don’t have to do a lot of exercise to get a benefit. Even simple activities (such as walking several times a week or yoga) can improve quality of life [14,198].
Physical activity can also reduce fatigue [20-22].
The American Cancer Society recommends cancer survivors aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week .
Learn about exercise and breast cancer survival.
Learn about other benefits of exercise for breast cancer survivors.
Other ways to lower stress and anxiety include :
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