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Mind Over Matter

Over the years as my daughters have been going through school I have had advice for my daughters before tests and exams. I tell them to imagine they are putting their thinking cap on prior to starting. It sets up your mind for that positive and confident thinking that will keep you on track. when they were young, they thought their mother was the smartest person on earth for saying this. They possibly wondered if their test results had anything to do with this "magic".

They started to roll their eyes more, which was par for the course for the tweens and the early teens. I have noticed that my eldest daughter, who is graduating from high school this year, is not laughing at all anymore. I think she's back in the "my mother knows what she's talking about camp".

Although putting a thinking cap on prior to cancer treatment sounds a little farfetched; hilarious, actually, the practise of putting your mind into a healthy body is similar. It's important to imagine your body as being healthy and cancer free. Instead of thinking of your illness, and all the side effects and pain that go with it, think your way into feeling better. Your treatment will not only go much better, but your positive attitude will also inspire other patients that are having a hard time.

This is how I handled the smaller surgeries I had leading up to, and following the mastectomies. I also drew upon this way of thinking through chemotherapy. Some star athletes, Lance Armstrong, for example, used similar techniques incorporating winning a race with winning the battle over cancer very successfully. Even healthy athletes play a race over in their minds repeatedly before the actual race. This way of mental preparation has improved their times as well as their performance.

So, you see,  "mind over matter" has not only helped someone like me prepare to finish a half marathon, but it could also help anyone suffering with an illness experience a much more positive outlook.

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