On January 22nd BCRC Clients joined online for a Live, Learn, Lunch session focused on giving back after cancer. Dr. Silvia Corral led the group in a discussion about how survivors can draw upon their own journey and find creative ways of giving back. Many times, after a cancer experience, we want to support the next person who has been diagnosed, but we don’t always know where to begin or how.
If you were unable to join, here are a few highlights from the session, and for those of you who did join it was great to see you and thank you for sharing about how you are giving back during and since your breast cancer journey.
It appears we all find joy in volunteering and this is a great way to give back. Focusing on others helps to take the spotlight off ourselves and keeps us from feeling depressed about our own diagnosis. Some of us volunteer for an organization, drive a friend to a doctor’s appointment, meet someone for coffee, offer to call, listen, understand, and share what we have learned along our journey.
We learned from Dr. Coral that research shows giving back can be helpful to us medically as well as emotionally. Some of the benefits include:
1. Lowers blood pressure
2. Decreases chronic pain
3. Increases longevity
4. Increases sense of happiness ( warm glow)- intent of giving shows mesolimbic reward center activation
5. Improves sense of purpose
6. Stress reduction / immune strength
7. Increases relationship bonds: belonging, decreases isolation
8. Boosts self esteem, decreases negative thinking
9. Improvement in depression with decrease in self focus
10. Is contagious- enhances pro social behaviors, practice acceptance , acts of kindness
There are so many ways to give back and to support and uplift others. It was wonderful to hear from our BCRC clients and learn from Dr. Corral all of the wonderful benefits for our mind, body and spirit. Let’s keep the discussion going. If you would like, please share in the comments how you enjoy giving back or how you plan to when the time feels right.
Live, Learn, Lunch is a salon style discussion on various topics designed to be inspiring while learning something new and relevant. All survivors and women on their journey with breast cancer are welcome to attend. The next Live, Learn Lunch will be on February 5, 2021 from 12-1:00pm.
Register for this free online event at https://zcu.io/VksK