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Anger On The Brain: Why It’s Bad For Cancer Patients

By HERWriter
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If you have been touched by cancer and are constantly angry, fearful or obsessed with feelings of grief, it’s time to get some help.

You’re certainly entitled to those feelings. After all, cancer is evil, without question. However, these excessive feelings can hurt you both physically and mentally and it is imperative that you understand why.

Our brain developed the anterior cingulate as a conflict monitor. It is where reason, logic, compassion, imagination and creativity reside. It relies heavily on cognitive and emotional processing in order to help us make decisions, respond to events and create our reality. Intense feelings of anger, fear or grief shut down the activity in the anterior cingulate, producing a thought process that is blameful, pessimistic and defensive. Our judgment is distorted and it becomes nearly impossible to find serenity.

Neuroimaging technology allows us to examine the internal functioning of the brain while the patient is experiencing these feelings. These studies demonstrate that our thoughts and emotions profoundly affect the biology of the brain. If the mind becomes preoccupied with negative, anxious or hateful thoughts, the brain rewires itself in surprisingly harmful ways, reducing neurological properties that allow logical thinking. Over time, the damage can be permanent by disrupting structures of the brain that affect memory storage, cognitive accuracy and problem solving.

As a cancer survivor seeking the best life possible, I need my creativity and imagination to help cope. I need to be able to reason through the maze of living with cancer, making decisions with a clear head and calm heart. I yearn for hope and optimism and I want every day to be a day of peace and joy.

If you’re dealing with cancer, you need access to the best resources available, including the ones God gave you. Let go of the anger. Let go of the grief. And use your head.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.