Take a moment to embrace gratitude this season

Posted by Sheryl M Ness, MA, RN @smness, Dec 17, 2015

Gratitude? Now? I speak to people every day in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Education Center who are living with a cancer diagnosis.

At first, it was hard for me to imagine someone expressing gratitude while going through chemo, radiation or end of life conversations, but they frequently did.

Some said navigating these challenges actually brought clarity to the many things they appreciate in life.

In his book, “The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living,” Dr. Amit Sood encourages us to focus on what went right within what went wrong.

Often, people will share how friends have walked with them and supported them during their treatment, or how grateful they are for medical advances, skilled health care providers and health insurance. These are things that went right for them within what went wrong.

Hearing their stories motivates me to reframe life’s challenges by pausing and taking stock of what has helped me during difficult times. The list is always longer than expected and it helps me focus on life’s blessings rather than frustrations. It captures the positive parts of the experience which not only impacts my present attitude but hopefully will lead to future memories filled with gratitude.

Are there times when you’ve experienced a sense of gratitude within the midst of your cancer journey? Or perhaps it’s been a struggle to find something that’s going right. I would love to have you share your thoughts and perspectives.

Read more on the Living with Cancer blog here

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