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Spirituality in Cancer

Even though the scientific technology has been increasing day by day, it is always best to choose spiritual way to cure the ill health. The dreadful disease like cancer is very tough to cure, which causes depression in patients. It further leads to more ill health. So in order to have a peace of mind one can go through spiritual path. Spirituality is an essential element in the life of a cancer sufferer. The main principle of healing cancer spiritually is to invoke mental strength.
Extension of Religious beliefs helps to improve quality of life of patients with cancer.

Spirituality:
Spirituality always plays a bigger role in ones healthy life and even influences end-of-life decisions. It is defined as how one can connect to their significant and sacred God. It is the awareness of something greater than the individual self. It can be understood as one’s relationship with their soul, expressed through one’s attitudes, habits and practices. Spirituality can be understood as the inner life of a person. The deep you go spiritually, the high, the patients can fight with illness. During the treatment, they can find the meaning of peace and wellness despite of fatigue or pain. It is one of the best resources to increase strength in patients.
Spirituality in Cancer:
Cancer patients need spiritual help to improve their mental condition. The patients may feel overload with the feelings of anxiety, anger, grief, loss and hopelessness. Despite of being surrounded by family and loved ones the cancer patients feel like they are alone in a crowd. Some may experience anger towards their God and lose faith. In that case, a spiritual leader may be able to help cancer patient by listening and providing guidance. Engaging the cancer patients in spiritual speeches may help them fight the present situations and deal with their issues. Patients with low spiritual levels are the more sufferers of cancer. Some cancer patients might loose faith in God and even make them furious at God. But one has to try to keep faith in God and try to join a faith community. The religious leader are helpful during the time of their sufferings.

Uses of Spirituality:
1. Spirituality lowers depression and help to fight cancer. The cancer patients with high levels of spiritual mind set are less likely to be depressed. It helps them to enjoy the life and make them live stronger like a normal person.
2. The more the level of spiritual thinking, the more one can travel against stress and anxiety.
3. One of the spiritual activity like Meditation helps in mental focusing and relaxes the mind. It also might help to lessen some of the unpleasant physical side effects of cancer treatment.
4. Cancer is the most dreadful disease, which finally leads to a painful death. In order to have a peaceful and happy life end one must surely opt the spiritual line. Spiritually-oriented patient always gives peacefulness to their family as well.
5. People who chooses the line of spirituality during their cancer treatment may be more likely to change them from being ill to well and feel better.
6. Spirituality increases, the faith of healing the disease.

Ways to increase the Spiritual levels:
Each patient has their own spiritual needs based on cultural and religious traditions. But here are the common steps for cancer patients to connect spiritually.
1. One can pray alone or with someone else who are spiritually nearer to god.
2. Performing meditation in various time intervals in a day.
3. Instead of regular breathing, the cancer patient can cultivate the art of Meditative breathing.
4. In times of stress, one can read scripture or other holy books to avoid mental ill health.
5. Chanting a mantra repeatedly is also one of the ways to reach spirituality.
6. Performing yoga asanas in proper manner helps to avoid depression.
7. The most simple technique to improve spirituality is talking about spiritual matters with another person.

Research and Analysis:
The research on cancer and spirituality has been lifted by efforts to move quality of life from the edges of cancer care into the mainstream. In the first analysis, investigators concentrated on the physical health of the patients. They have started reporting greater overall religiousness and spirituality also felt better physical health. They have also expressed the greater ability to perform their usual daily tasks.

In the second analysis, the researchers examined patients mental health. The team discovered that the emotional aspects of religion and spirituality were more strongly associated with positive mental health.

The third analysis is concerned to social health, or patients capacity to retain social roles and relationships to face off illness. Religion and spirituality, as well as each of its dimensions, had modest but reliable links with social health. The research is still focusing on how relationships between religious or spiritual involvement and health change over time.

Spiritual distress: a clinical diagnosis?

A cancer diagnosis, as with any serious illness, triggers deep existential questions: Why me? Why now? Why would God allow me to suffer this way? What will happen to me after I die? for what wrong I have done that God punished me. Answers to these questions are not immediate, nor are they obvious. But with support, patients can reframe a negative experience into one with a potentially positive meaning. Patients talk of an illness as a blessing or an opportunity to see life in a different, perhaps more meaningful way.

People may relate to the suffering of Lord Mahaveer, Jesus Christ, which might give them solace or a path to acceptance of their own suffering. Only our past deeds are responsible for our suffering, and now we have to accept it calmly. Rituals and spiritual practices are taught as a way to help people cope with suffering and eventual dying. Spirituality can be understood as one’s relationship with the transcendent, expressed through one’s attitudes, habits, and practices .

Brady found that patients with cancer who had high levels of spiritual well-being reported more enjoyment in life, and higher levels of meaning and peace, even in the midst of cancer-related symptoms such as fatigue or pain. Other studies have shown that spiritual well-being in cancer patients has been associated with lower levels of depression, better quality of life near death, and protection against end-of-life despair and desire for hastened death. Cancer patients report their spirituality helps them find hope, gratitude, and positivity in their cancer experience, and that their spirituality is a source of strength that helps them cope, find meaning in their lives, and make sense of the cancer experience as they recover from treatment.

Answering the, “Why am I here?” question. Gain clarity about your purpose by being silent and listening to the wisdom deep within. One of the greatest gifts of spirituality is learning to love and fully accept yourself and others in the present moment. Cancer healing lead to greater feelings of personal growth.

Spirituality can take many forms and is unique to each individual. Spiritual practices that may help you cope with your cancer and its treatments include:

1. Taking the time regularly to meditate or pray.
2. Reading spiritual writings.
3. Retreat to spiritual places, natural settings.
4. Spending time with monks, sants, spiritual persons .
5. Chanting a mantra repeatedly is also one of the ways to reach spirituality.
6.Listening to classical or spiritual music
7.Performing yoga asanas in proper manner helps to avoid depression.
8.Talking about spiritual matters with another.

\Spirituality is a chance to be reconnected to God, a religious tradition, and a community that provides hope and strength for the cancer patient,\ says Rev. Deborah K. Davis, director of field education at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersy.

Experts say that spiritual or religious practices can help you adjust to the effects of cancer and its treatment. Patients who rely on their faith or spirituality tend to experience increased hope and optimism, freedom from regret, higher satisfaction with life, and feelings of inner peace. In addition, patients who practice a religious tradition or are in touch with their spirituality tend to be more compliant with treatment and live a healthier lifestyle.

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