CBT and Mindfulness work for breast cancer patients

For a number of years coaches have been using and recommending Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) and mindfulness to support cancer patients. Several books, blogs, online talks and interviews on the topic of CBT and Mindfulness have highlighted their positive impact on preventing and dealing with mental illnesses. Today’s session of Women’s Hour (BBC Radio 4- 26/04/21 at 10 am) has dedicated an important space of the programme to draw attention to the gains offered by these techniques to breast cancer patients.

During the programme there are observations, experiences, and real-life anecdotes which take the audience into a journey of discovery about how real patients have not only got the benefits on their general wellbeing, buy also on how their bodies have reacted to the treatment. I have used these two approaches with all my cancer patients and their caregivers, and they can testify of their unquestionable impact.

A fundamental issue is that CBT and Mindfulness techniques can be used by anyone in our daily lives. Like many, I continually find myself busy and under pressure trying to answer endless emails, texts, work demands, news, phone calls, and worried about Covit-19 and unemployment… Today, more than ever, we are affected by the wonders of technological innovation and uncertainty in our lives. This permanent “connection” and pressure from the world around us forces our mind to become “a non-stop multi-tasking tool” to the extreme. No surprise that increasing anxiety and exhaustion are having an impact in our lives, health and relationships.

Learning to slow our mind’s activity right down, remembering our bodies and our intimate self are, more than ever, crucial to our day-to-day survival as cancer patients and as human beings. The more people and particularly youngsters, learn to appreciate our inner peace and balance, the more we will allow ourselves the opportunity to bring peace and compassion to everything and everyone around us.

It may not be clear how exactly is that our internal peace connects to and affects the body, but we know it does, because when we are facing upheavals, anxiety, and depression our body reacts accordingly, getting overwhelmed, exhausted and swamped with negative physical reactions. If it works on the negative connection, why will not work under a positive context?

The point here is that CBT and Mindfulness work in general, and specially, for cancer patients. Thus, why not go ahead and start using them? The waves of more peaceful thoughts and feelings will sooner or later have an impact in unsuspected places of our body, and we will become those smiley more balanced peaceful human beings we dream of being even during the most challenging circumstances!

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