Meditation is a state of deep inner peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, which is achieved by controlled breathing and remaining still. There are many types of meditation and many ways to practice it, but the goal is always the same: to reach an inner peace that reduces or removes any stressful thoughts from one’s mind. This physical, emotional, and spiritual “peaceful place” helps rebalance the mind and the body, and reduces stress, especially among cancer patients and their loved ones.
Potential Benefits of Meditation for Individuals with Cancer
The ability to stop thinking, or being in a meditative state, while sitting, standing moving slow or lying on the ground is the first step towards reducing physical and mental stress. The practice of meditation, especially by cancer patients and survivors, seems to benefit and reduce depression, fear and anxiety. While meditation may help with chronic pain, inflammation, and concentration issues, it excels in improving the quality and outlook of daily life. Deep levels of meditation may also increase beneficial hormone production and may even strengthen the immune system; more research is needed regarding these two areas. Meditation impacts willpower and self-esteem, and being able to control your own brainwaves is empowering and rewarding. Meditation and deep breathing are crucial tools for cancer patients who have just been diagnosed for the first time, as well as those who are in the midst of treatment. Regular meditation practice is also encouraged for caregivers and family members, who also must deal with the stress of a patient’s cancer diagnosis.