This was a good outtake for me to reread this morning, as I am feeling a tiny bit stressed out with the book release nine days away. It reminded me that most of the stressors in my life are things I’ve chosen and actually want (I just wish that the kids were back in school during a week when I have the opportunity to write a number of articles ). Still, even though some of the timing is out of my control, I have many options, much to be grateful for, and it’s good to remember that. So here’s the outtake:

Much research has focused on how our sense of control affects our health. At first this may seem to contradict the idea of accepting the things we cannot change, until we remember the observation of Dr. Susan Silberstein that the patients most likely to have remarkable recoveries were the ones who accepted the diagnosis, but not the prognosis. Dr. Silberstein, an expert in cancer and cancer prevention, also notes:


Research has shown that not only stress, but more particularly, stress that is perceived as inevitable and uncontrollable, may be a key factor in vulnerability to cancer. There is evidence that the immune system is suppressed in those who have no sense of personal option to change the negative conditions in their lives. Feelings of passiveness, victimization, hopelessness, and lack of control—especially when experienced over an extended period of time—appear to be major personality traits of cancer-prone individuals.


Dr. Silberstein suggests getting out of stress-inducing environments, if possible, as well as getting enough rest. She offers a list of stress management techniques, from laughter to meditation, concluding, “We all have stress to deal with in our lives; whether we choose to allow stress to become distress may be the crucial issue in wellness.”

Having the kids around makes time for meditation more difficult, but time for laughter easier. I think today I’ll focus on that.