Ways to lower cortisol.

Options
BCNA have organised an upcoming podcast with Sarah De Jonge offering ways to Set healthy boundaries.  I am looking forward to adding this to my arsenal of ways to cut down on toxicity in my life.  

Can anyone else share their experiences so we can help each other to lead less stressful lives in the busyness of our lives?  My first change when I was diagnosed was to get out of a toxic work environment.
«1

Comments

  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
    Options
    I really like this thread. I’m also looking at ways to lower the stress in my life. Part of that is mediation, then there’s also cutting out toxic people from my life (which includes family members), not going back to the same job that caused me to have a burnout, not working until I feel psychologically ready to, and planning to move house as I’m not really happy where I am, and it’s having a big impact on me. I’ve also been happily single for almost two years and will remain single until I feel ready to be in a relationship that matches what I need. I’ve been seeing my psychologist again for about 6 months and doing EMDR with her to resolve childhood traumas that are stored in my body and also contribute towards illness. Lastly, I watched two docuseries by many cancer specialists on an integrative and holistic way to heal and prevent cancer and other illnesses, and a large part of that was emotional and psychological health, so I am implementing the advice offered from that. That docuseries was brilliant and has given me renewed hope in leading a healthy and cancer free life, minus all the debilitating drugs 🤞🙌🏻♥️.
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    Options
    So pleased @FLClover that you have made changes, it can only help in the long run. xx
  • au0rei
    au0rei Member Posts: 248
    Options
    Thanks @Keeping_positive1 for starting this thread. :)

    I was certainly in a very toxic state before I was diagnosed with cancer. Oh well I could blame it on the husband but I was responsible for how I felt and could have done better and have a better mental and emotional state back then. I was bottling a lot a lot of bad feelings within me for a long time because our marriage was on the rocks. But who knew that that was no good. It took a cancer diagnosis and lots of reflection before I realised how toxic I was. Eversince, I have learnt to talk about things rather than bottle it up. I have learnt to express myself much better and free my spirit of any bad feelings as soon as I can.

    Exercise and a better diet are also important to me now. I was practically not exercising before my diagnosis, sleeping little, eating badly because I was so caught up in my work. Toxic body toxic mind toxic heart. I never want to go back to that state.

    I am still working at laughing more :D
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    edited April 2023
    Options
    Laughter is the best medicine.  Although we may also need other medicine for certain ailments/illnesses. :)

  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,331
    Options
    Thanks @Keeping_positive1. Stress was something that impacted me for most of my life. My childhood had many complications from family and I know that it set me on a course where I had to deal with that trauma.

    My first marriage ended when my son was 8 months old. Long story but it put me in the position of raising my only son on my own for 20 yrs when I met my now husband.

    Unfortunately during those 20 yrs on my own stress was hard to be rid of just because it is very hard as a sole parent. I pushed myself to the brink sometimes to provide a good life for my boy. I didn't want my broken relationship impacting his situation in life. I drove myself pretty hard to ensure we had a home, education etc. 

    I am extremely proud of my achievements as a sole parent however my health suffered alot. I had numerous operations for various things and the biggest of them all has been breast cancer. 

    This was when I said enough!! The following is what has helped me.
    #I retired at 57.
    # I stopped seeing people who really didn't care for me and where toxic for me.
    #I put boundaries around family and still do. 
    # I walk alot every day.
    #I practice deep breathing and meditation.
    # I express gratitude daily. I use an app for this called Delightful but some people use journals.
    # I have a keto type diet. Good healthy food really helps me and my health issues. My diet is supported by my drs. It's good for me and I am really seeing major benefits. 
    # i take time to see friends 
    #I do things i enjoy like going to the ballet or camping, planning holidays 

    If there is a stressful thing that pops up I try not to get caught up and overthink it, but practice my deep breathing and meditation. I tell myself if I have no control over the stressful thing to let it go and I take deep breaths. It helps settle any anxiety and reduces stress for me.

    Remember now is the only time that matters. Looking back and thinking about the past causes depression and worrying about the future causes anxiety. So staying in the present moment is peace and happiness. 


  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,156
    Options
    Hi all
    I started mindfulness meditation some years ago and it has helped me with stress .
    Other things are regular exercise, maintaining healthy relationships and a good nights sleep .
    And yes laughter is important too .

    I am better now ( since my diagnosis) at saying “ no” and being a bit more selfish.
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
    Options
    @Cath62 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻♥️♥️
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,331
    Options
    Thanks @FLClover. Took me many years to realise it's not enough to know what to do. It's putting it all into practice and actually making it happen. Took me nearly 60 years but I am now doing all these things and feel the best I have felt in years. 
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    edited April 2023
    Options
    @Cath62 I also was a single parent and had a lot of stress placed on me when my child was in the teenage years and I was juggling an emotionally charged job.  I had always wanted to be the homemaker and fully enjoy my parenting role, but life threw other challenges at me and I am sure that contributed to me staying in a work environment with a psycho boss.  We often sacrifice a lot when left raising children on our own, I can totally relate to that.

    The changes I have made is not being a people pleaser, but I nearly fell into the trap when a psychologist I was seeing suggested I go back to my job.  I would have been going to return to a toxic environment to please her.  Finally I woke up to stop letting people pull my strings. 

    I do care and love the people in my life, but I also can politely say no to anything that is going to cause me compromising my health and wellbeing.  I enjoy the simple things in life like going for walks, catching up with friends for coffee and a chat, going to the movies, gym/strength classes and reading historical books.  Life is good. :)
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    edited April 2023
    Options
    @Julez1958 I can relate to saying no to peoples requests more than I did prior to my bc diagnosis.  I set realistic goals for myself now to not try to please others at the expense of my own wellbeing.  It can be difficult because I still have some PTSD caused by my last work environment.  Other than that I really enjoy my retirement.  Life is good. :)
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,331
    Options
    I am happy for you @Keeping_positive1. You sound like you have made big steps in boundary setting. I certainly had to as well. I think it is a life long thing and sometimes old habits are hard to stop. I have to work on it as issues arise.

    I agree being a sole parent brings another layer of stress. It is hard in so many ways having sole responsibility for everything! I appreciate you would understand this.

     I was a people pleaser too. I had to look deeper into myself to see why so I could stop it. I still need to be mindful of it but I am aware of it. It's a continuous process. 

    I am really pleased you brought up this topic. It's so important and I am sure is of benefit to many here. 
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    edited April 2023
    Options
    Thank you @Cath62 because I see that even if some people are not contributing to this thread (and that is ok also), but it may provide some with reflections that may benefit others to read about others struggles.  It sure is ongoing and I have to remind myself of my past and as a good friend reminded me when I got diagnosed said to me this is about YOU.  I continued to be a people pleaser the year I was undergoing chemotherapy, as it can take a while to really understand that we need to have compassion for ourselves, and cut ourselves some slack.  

    Hopefully we keep gaining more wisdom as we journey through our life on this earth.  xx
  • Kathryn2412
    Kathryn2412 Member Posts: 10
    Options
    I’m really looking forward to this webinar too!
    I love the idea of setting healthy boundaries… all the time but particularly after a breast cancer diagnosis. I’ve started classes with an exercise physiologist and also bought a bike so I can cycle along the beach. I’m eating food that is healthy and fuels my body. I’m assertive when I need to be and try to make sure I’m surrounded by positive people. I’m looking forward to hearing about navigating family relationships as I find this is a challenge!! 😊

  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,331
    Options
    Good on you @Kathryn2412. Bike riding is great. I have a bike but haven't been on it since chemo. I must get it out! Family is the hardest isn't it.

     I am a bit different from my family. My thinking is very different to theirs and so I didn't really fit their mould. I use to feel rejected by them but the fact is I just didn't want to be part of their thinking and finally  I am ok with who I am and my own beliefs.

     I see them at family things which aren't often but i don't try to engage in what we don't have in common. I just get together with them and be happy for each others lives. We do have one sibling who doesn't come to anything at all and that's ok too. It took years for us to be ok about that. 

     I try not to have them my siblings in my home so I get more choice on how much time I have with them and that helps. But at the end of the day it was me that had to change so I didn't have all the anxiety about them. I hope you get some good ideas from that webinar. 
  • Kathryn2412
    Kathryn2412 Member Posts: 10
    Options
    Thanks @Cath62 :)
    I was also going to say @FLCover - I’m also looking to possibly move too… partly by choice but also because I may have to. I’m renting in Melbourne and it’s a nightmare. I’m also single and prioritising my health for now.
    I feel I have a lot on my mind so I think it will be great to attend the webinar :)
    Always helpful chatting on here!!