A man finds peace within himself at the top of a mountain, surrounded by calming natural scenery.

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off 

No matter how healthy you might be or who you are, negativity can overtake you and weigh you down for a day, a week or longer. When you are a prostate cancer survivor or are undergoing any kind of treatment, it is easy to find negativity everywhere.

Mindful of negativity

Turn on the news; it is usually negative. Then for a moment stop and recall that media ratings depend on promoting negative news stories for their survival. Between your health challenges and negative issues at work or with your family, friends, it is so easy to get swept up in the meaningless dramas of life.

As a two-time prostate cancer survivor, I know what happens as you look at the calendar and see that your next PSA test is only days away. Or how about the very deep breath knowing silently that you next radiation treatment is tomorrow at 8 AM. Or how about remembering you only have 30 more treatments to go?

While we have a free will on how we choose to see things, making the positive choice is not always easy. Being positive when you are surrounded by an increasing swell of negative news takes effort – some real effort. How can you deal with it? How can you take back your power and bring some warmth and happiness back into your life?

1) Seek out a positive environment

The places

Make sure you spend some time outside every day. Nature is an amazing emotional healer. Take a walk with a good friend on a wooded trail. Listen to the birds sing or simply look up at the amazing array of stars above you on a clear evening.

The people

Find people who lift you up people. Freely absorb the positive energy of those around you while moving away from negative people. Understand that in life setbacks are often temporary and can be used as a learning experience.

The lifecycle

From the day we are born until we die, our lives are filled with victories and opportunities to learn. While my Lupron treatments were not fun, undergoing that experience gave me a new appreciation for what women face during their change of life cycle. The experience helped me to be closer to my wife.

Stop and think...who are you at this point in your life and who do you want to be at each stage moving forward? Being kind to those who support and care for you makes everyone’s life better.

2) Examine your thoughts

In the end, we are responsible for our thoughts and have the right to question where our positive and negative thoughts come from. Are you thinking about something negative in the future that may or may not happen?

Fear...real or imagined is a powerful emotion. Living in constant fear stresses our bodies and only serves to weaken our emotional and physical well-being. Why do we do it? None of us can predict the future so why do we create a or live in a world of imagined fear.

3) Practice gratitude

Gratitude serves as a reminder that there is good in this world and each one of us can absorb that positive force into our lives. No matter what you are going through or who you are, you can find blessings if you just take the time to look.

Look for the silver lining and appreciate the small things. At the end of your day name, those things. Better yet write them down. It may have been a smile or a simple touch. Keeping track of each small blessing will enrich your life in more ways than you can imagine. Life is precious at every stage – take nothing for granted in your journey.

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