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12 Tips To Manage Uncertainty

Posted by Geoff Beaty on 31 July 2021
12 Tips To Manage Uncertainty
Here are some ideas that have helped others feel more hopeful and deal with the uncertainty and fear of cancer that doesn't go away:

Be informed. Learn what you can do for your health now and about the services available to you and your loved ones. This can give you a greater sense of control.

Be aware that you do not have control over some aspects of your cancer. It helps to accept this rather than fight it.

Be aware of your fears, but practice letting them go. It's normal for these thoughts to enter your mind, but you don't have to keep them there. Some people picture them floating away, or being vaporized. Others turn them over to a higher power to handle. However you do it, letting them go can free you from wasting time and energy needlessly worrying.

Express feelings of fear or uncertainty with a trusted friend or counsellor. Being open and dealing with emotions helps many people feel less worried and better able enjoy each day. People have found that when they express strong feelings, like anger and fear, they're better able to let go of these feelings. Thinking and talking about your feelings can be hard. If you find cancer is taking over your life, it may be helpful to find a way to express your feelings.

Enjoy the present moment rather than thinking of an uncertain future or a difficult past. If you can find a way to be peaceful inside yourself, even for a few minutes a day, you can start to recall that peace when other things are happening when life is busy, scary and confusing.

Make time for what you really want. You may find yourself thinking about all the things you've always wanted to do but never made time for. It's OK to pursue these things, and don't forget to enjoy everyday pleasures and have fun too.

Work toward having a positive attitude, which can help you feel better about life even if a cure is out of reach. Nearly everyone can find things to feel grateful for or hopeful about. But don't try to be upbeat or positive all the time no one is! You need to pay attention to your feelings, even the so-called "negative" ones. You're allowed to have bad days, feel sad or angry, or grieve whenever you need to.

Use your energy to focus on what you can do now to stay as healthy as possible. Try to make healthy changes in what you eat. If you're a person who uses tobacco, this is a good time to quit, and encourage others to quit with you.

Find ways to relax and enjoy time alone and with others.

Exercise and be as active as you can. Talk with your cancer care team about what's realistic for you.

Control what you can. Some people say that putting their lives in order makes them feel less fearful.

Being involved in your health care, trying to find your "new normal," and making changes in your lifestyle are among the things you can control. Even setting a daily schedule can give you more power. And while no one can control every thought, some say they've resolved to not dwell on the fearful ones.

Author:Geoff Beaty
Tags:NewsPrevention & RecoveryMind Body MedicineCancer


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia