Since your diagnosis of a blood cancer, you may find that your life
has changed significantly. Daily routines may be altered, feelings
towards yourself and your body, relationships with friends and family
may have shifted and your future may feel uncertain, leaving you in a
new and unfamiliar place. Mindfulness of the breath can help you to
anchor your mind in the present moment, helping to give you some
relief from worries about the past or anxieties about the
If you are experiencing shortness of breath, you can experiment with this practice and see if you find it helpful. Many people find that focusing on the breath can be very helpful when they find themselves short of breath; however, some people find that taking focus away from the breath is more helpful. If you do find this practice difficult, you could try Mindfulness of the soles of the feet or Mindfulness of the body.
You may also find this practice helpful if you are the carer or partner of somebody living with a blood cancer, to help cope with the emotional stress that this can cause.
You can return to Mindfulness of the Breath whenever you feel the need for stillness and calm. When you are ready, find a quiet space and enjoy the practice.
Mindfulness of the soles of the feet
can help centre and ground you in any moment. It is a
simple practice that can be done anytime and anywhere.
Having been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you may find yourself in many new situations where you feel anxious or overwhelmed. Equally, you might be the carer or family member of someone diagnosed with a blood cancer and are finding it hard to cope emotionally. In these moments, bringing attention and awareness to the soles of the feet can be very useful and it is a good habit to cultivate. This practice will help you to feel stronger within yourself in spite of what is happening around you.
Coming to terms with a diagnosis of a blood cancer can be confusing
and at times overwhelming. It can be difficult for people to
visualise, which may impact self-image. Mindfulness of the body
is helpful to settle and calm the mind and body and
can be used by both those living with a blood cancer as well as
carers and loved ones. Many people find it to be both relaxing and energising.
This practice will teach you to experience the body and its sensations just as they are, helping to strengthen your mental and emotional resilience. Bringing attention and awareness to the body can also help to work with any aches and pains that you may be experiencing. Mindfulness of the body is often done lying down but can also be done standing or sitting.
1. Hoffman, CJ, Ersser, SJ, Hopkinson, JB, Nicholls, PG, Harrington, JE & Thomas, PW. Effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction in mood, breast- and endocrine-related quality of life, and well-being in stage 0 to III breast cancer: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2012;30(12):1335-42.
2. Shennan C, Payne S, Fenlon D. What is the evidence for the use of mindfulness-based interventions in cancer care? A review. Psychooncology. 2011;20(7):681-97.