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Home  /  Integrative Cancer Care  /  Mind  /  Feelings, Thoughts, and Beliefs

Feelings, Thoughts, and Beliefs

By Jeannine Walston

Feelings Thoughts Beliefs_4Feelings, thoughts, and beliefs define your internal environmental that impacts your health. With or without a directly measurable influence on your physical body, the ways in which you feel, think, and believe help shape your quality of life. Are you aware of your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs? Are you aware how your thoughts defined by your beliefs deeply impact your emotions as well as distinctions between your personal and cultural beliefs?

Defining and Redefining Beliefs

Beliefs define each person’s perceived strengths and weaknesses. Your beliefs about what you can and cannot do define what you think and feel. These mental constructs are very important to explore when you are dealing with cancer. How do you define your strengths and weaknesses? Are you defining your strengths and weaknesses, or is how you think and feel about yourself defined by other people, specific life experiences, and your culture? You have the power to choose what you believe, think, and feel through your cancer journey and life in general.

Exploring Cancer-Related Thoughts and Feelings

Investigating your thoughts and feelings related to cancer can provide rich insights. Cancer can precipitate deep tenacity and vulnerability. Exploring the scope of cancer associated thoughts and feelings helps to increase self-understanding and ultimately self-empowerment. Developing awareness for the challenging cancer-related feelings takes courage. For example, some people with cancer can experience dissociation physically, mentally, and emotionally. The physical body with cancer cells, and any parts with discomfort, can feel foreign and create a sense of alienation with self as well as those around them. The mind-body connection with unresolved, painful thoughts and feelings can cultivate disconnect internally and externally. Without the capacity to identify, stay with, move into, and express the mental and emotional reactions, people with cancer can reject themselves and others. Any suppressed, stuck emotions can become toxic to the physical body too. Learning about your mental and emotional terrain in the midst of cancer reveals important insights to help you cope with those challenges.

Embracing Inquiry and Investigation

This section invites you to consider what you believe as well as how you think and feel about yourself. This exploration can involve your thoughts and feeling about cancer, including your beliefs about healing versus curing cancer. Approach these areas with curiosity to potentially discover new perspectives about yourself and ways to support your health with strategies for your healing. Learn more about how feelings are defined by thoughts, and how the content of thoughts are defined by beliefs. This requires exploring how the foundation of what you feel and think is rooted in your beliefs. Our cancer resources about the dimensions of these important components of the mind-body connection provide empowering information for inquiry and investigation.

Influence of Foods and Movement

To support healthy thoughts and feelings, as well as your physical body, as a start we emphasize two areas to include in your integrative cancer care plan. The first is what you put in your mouth. The foods you eat are essential to your mind-body balance. The reality is that if you eat junk food, you will feel like junk on some level. Healthy foods support stronger equilibrium to your body, mind, and spirit. The second is moving your body. You can transform your thoughts and feelings by getting out of your head and into your body. The best strategy is to find the movement practice that works for you such as yoga, stretching, walking, hiking, swimming, or dancing moving faster than you can think or feel. Movement can catalyze your stuck mental patterns, release your physical tension, and provide many other benefits. Body postures also exert strong influences on how you think and feel perhaps without self-awareness.

Next Steps

Explore our information in this section about feelings, thoughts, and beliefs to support your vitality. Other integrative cancer care information here offers support to your feelings, thoughts, and even beliefs. Educate yourself about these potential areas of focus such as nutrition, other types of support for your physical body, movement, meaning and purpose, spirituality, and additional topics.

Emotions and Cancer
Learn about certain emotions in some cancer patients according to research and referred as Type C coping styles that can change to improve the mind-body.

Creating Healthier Beliefs
Habits of mind are powerful constructs. Our beliefs are the blueprint of who we are. Read about what beliefs are, the role they play in our lives, and how to cultivate healthier ones to impact the mind-body connection.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Posttraumatic Growth
The highs and lows of cancer are intense. Patterns of stress can be really debilitating and the challenge also holds the opportunity.