Today I had my mammogram. So if I psych myself out and think that there will be something bad, because I’ve suffered, I’m owed a good outcome. Or, I can influence the outcome with positive thoughts. Obviously, neither works. Magical thinking refers to the idea that your thoughts can influence an outcome. And while we don’t know exactly how attitude relates to the development of physical disease in the body, feeling good or bad about my mammogram today is not going to change the outcome.

Somehow in all of this mind body stuff, we began to think that we could control physical outcomes, like the development of cancer by a positive or negative attitude. We can’t. We can influence our coping skills and self care through attitude. Attitude impacts general well-being, I think. And we have to recognize that while depression and anxiety are sometimes “appropriate” feelings, we may not have to endure them. I’m all in favor of support meds and methods – anti depressants, therapy, exercise, meditation, pain meds, friends, or funny movies.

To me, I think the important thing is to recognize your feelings and go from there. Don’t feel guilty if you’re not feeling “positive”, let yourself feel the whole range of feelings whatever they are. Allow yourself to feel anger, anxiety, sadness. But don’t turn inward and blame yourself. When I have these feelings, I would seek some help – from doctors, family, support groups, etc. That’s one of my coping skills.

As for me, I’m reframing the mammogram to congratulate myself for doing it, and we’ll wait for the rest of the news as patiently as possible.