How do Healthy Survivors deal with the anxieties prompted by knowing their risks of future problems?
Different approaches and tricks work well for different people in the same situation, as well as for the same people at different times. The greater your repertoire of healthy responses, the more likely you'll be able to quiet your anxieties most of the time.
To jumpstart your personal list, here are samples of my self-talk for those times when my knowledge of my risks of new problems related to my past treatments stirs anxiety:
- Fearing it does not mean it will happen.
- Sure, it may happen. But it may not happen, too.
- Don't fight the fear. Acknowledge it, and then let it go.
- Use the fear to motivate you to improve your diet, exercise, sleep habits that may decrease your overall risk of the problem and that will improve your ability to deal with any problems that arise.
- Focus on something productive or joyful, so you don't have any brain power left to worry about the risks.
- You know lots of other frightening things without thinking about them, such as the risk of being in a car accident each time you drive. Just do the same thing here.
- Plan on it not happening to you. Assume it won't happen to you. This helps you today without impairing your ability to deal with it if, unfortunately, it does happen.
You have today, so "rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118 v. 24)