Joining a cancer support community can improve your chances of beating cancer. This blog post will teach you why community involvement can have a strong healing effect. You will also discover the downfall of the American community and how it affects us now.
Being Part Of A Cancer Support Community Makes You Healthier
Being part of a cancer support community can help you manage your cancer. The need for authentic connection and community is primal. It is as fundamental to our health and well-being as the need for air, water, and food.
Intimacy, or anything that brings us closer together, heals us. It can be the romantic love of a lover or the closeness of a friend, child, parent, sibling, teacher, or even a pet.
A pet can provide the healing experience of unconditional love. Studies have shown that looking a dog in the eyes can boost oxytocin levels. It is a hormone involved in social bonding between the person and the dog.
You can feel more connected by being alone. Meditation is often done alone and can help quiet down the mind and body. You can feel the sense of interconnectedness with each other and with ourselves. A study showed that eight weeks of meditation decreases loneliness and inflammation.
If you look at the oldest people on earth, they are all part of a community.
The Oldest People On Earth Are Part Of Strong Communities
There are five places in the world called the Blue Zones where people live the longest. Their strong communities are one of the reasons they live so long.
In the Blue Zones, family comes first. The grandparents meet their children and grandchildren often. This bond creates a sense of security. Their families' bonds are strong, and they don't put their elders in old homes.
Social connectedness is an integral part of the Blue Zones. Okinawans have "moais," groups of people who stick together with them their whole lives.
Sardinians finish their day in the local bar, where they meet with friends. The annual grape harvest and village festivals need the whole community's help.
Social connections are much more frequent among women. Married or single, employed or not, women make more long-distance calls to family and friends than men. Women spend more time visiting friends.
We are creatures of community. Learning to listen to our inner voice while caring for each other has enabled us to survive as species. We are hardwired to love and be loved.
Group support attendance leads to positive health behaviors and quality of life. We each deserve to be seen, heard, and accepted.
Being social is how we've evolved. Your network of close relationships still reinforces who you are today. Humans are highly social beings. Loneliness can make you sicker.
Loneliness Causes Sickness
Loneliness makes us sick. It can be as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is even more harmful than obesity. People who are lonely, depressed, and isolated are more likely to get sick and die. Our culture has an epidemic of loneliness, isolation, and alienation.
Loneliness causes chronic emotional stress and overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system. Inflammation increases in people who are lonely or depressed.
In real-world social networks, people know you. They know your dark side, demons, and mistakes. These social networks have healing benefits. Creating safe group support is a powerful antidote to loneliness and isolation.
Adequate social support increases the length of life for cancer patients. It also improves the quality of life. Chronic depression leads to a poorer cancer prognosis.
Stress hormones such as cortisol lead to gloomier cancer progression. They affect the sympathetic nervous system activity and telomere length in cells. This effect can affect your cancer growth.
One study examined women with breast cancer who attended a cancer support community once a week for one year. They lived twice as long as those who didn't participate in these groups. Both groups had the same conventional treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
Now you know the health benefits of being part of a community. Let's learn more about the breakdown of American society and how it affects us.
A History Lesson Of The Once Strong American Community
There has been a radical shift in our culture in the past 50 years. We have seen it in the breakdown of social networks. If you look back in history, the community was once a great part of the American foundation.
In the 1950s, people lived three generations together. It created a support system that was good for children. But the strong community we once had has been getting weaker every year.
Most homes in the fifties had to produce their goods. Children contributed to the family's survival at an early age. Most farms raised much of their food. Children became an essential part of the family.
They gathered eggs, worked in the garden, and carried wood and water. Girls learned to cook, sew, preserve food for the winter, and take care of the sick. The boys helped their father with the livestock, planting, and harvesting. They also hunted and maintained buildings and fences.
Education was not a massive part of their lives. Boys helped at home and went to school only when they could. The family dynamic in the fifties was different from now.
The Family Dynamic In The Fifties
When families produced everything themselves, they had large families. Families could have 8-10 children or even more. As more families began living in towns and cities, their families shrunk. Two to three children became the norm.
Back in the 1950s, it was common for kids to walk to corner stores from their neighborhoods. They would even go into territories considered dangerous today. Parents didn't worry about them getting hurt.
Both parents didn't need to work. The cost of living was a lot less expensive in the fifties. You could live on one salary without any problem.
Moms in the 1950s stayed home, watched the kids, cared for the home, and cooked. That is hard today because moms work full-time. The 50s were not as fast-paced as it is today. Therefore, moms had the time and energy to cook.
Today, most moms rely on takeout, meal kits, or readymade dinners. They are too tired and don't have much time to prepare anything.
Dads worked and supported their families financially. It is now the norm for both parents to work unless one earns a high income. That also means both parents will split the caretaking and housework.
Parents were also much more strict with rules in the fifties.
Parent Were More Strict In The 1950s
Today physical discipline is unthinkable. In the 1950s, parents, and society expected kids to do chores around the house. They would be responsible for helping moms with the housework once they returned from school.
Society does not expect kids to do chores. Parents don't always instill it. It could be because both parents work full-time. They are too tired to give their kids any responsibility.
Parents need any alone time to recharge, whereas back in the 50s, life was calmer and simpler. People did not need alone time as often back then. Families spent more quality time together daily.
Two things that changed families were technology and cars.
How The Technology Revolution Changed Society
Families and children adjusted as the culture changed with new technologies. Children's lives today are much different than our ancestors. They would marvel at the things they lived without.
Many towns got electricity before or after 1900. Electricity brought electric lights, appliances, and other conveniences. Town children also had the opportunity to attend high school.
Cars brought significant changes in children's lives on both the farm and in town. All families could travel to neighboring cities for entertainment and shopping.
Instead of producing food and clothing, they could now buy them in stores. Toys and games changed with the times. In the early days, siblings played games with each other. They went outside when they had free time from chores.
Schools expanded and required children's attendance until age 16 or graduation. More young people attended college. Kids played outdoors in the 50s until technology began taking over society.
Back then, the lack of technology was a big reason why kids played outside more. They, therefore, met other kids and socialized.
As the years went by, the American community started to decline.
The Decline Of The American Community
Robert D. Putnam wrote about the decline of the American community in his book Bowling Alone. In his book, he said that in 1975–76 American men and women attended 12 club meetings each year. In 1999 that figure shrunk by 58% to five meetings per year.
TV consumes more time now than it used to, while we spend less time on housework and child care. Most Americans no longer spend much time in community organizations.
Churches and other religious organizations have unique importance in America. America is one of the most religiously focused countries in the modern world.
Churches, over the centuries, have been robust social institutions. They have provided a wide range of powerful social movements. Putnam said that Americans identifying as having "no religion" rose from 2% in 1967 to 11% by the 1990s.
In the 1950s, about one in every four Americans joined church groups. By the late 1980s and 1990, it went down to one in eight.
Beyond mealtime, almost all family activities became less common in the late 20th century.
There are many possible reasons the community fell in America, such as:
More people feel busy today. According to Putnam, it went up by more than half between the mid-1960s and the mid-1990s. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, more and more said they worked very hard.
One primary reason the American community declined was the breakdown of the family.
Kids Born Out Of Wedlock Skyrocketed
Americans suffer from a bad case of loneliness. People living alone in the United States have gone through the roof. The insurance company Cigna released a study on loneliness.
20,000 Americans answered a survey on loneliness. The study said that only half of Americans have meaningful, face-to-face social interactions.
In 1970, 84% of US children spent their entire childhoods living with both parents. Today, only half can expect to do the same. Unmarried women's birth rate went from 14.1 per thousand in 1950 to 43.8 per thousand in 1990. That is a 310% increase.
The total went up from 150,000 illegitimate babies in 1950 to 1,150,000 in 1990. In 2016 about 40% of births in the US occurred outside of marriage, up from 28% from 1990.
Children raised by single mothers have more problems in their social and emotional development. These children also struggle more with their health and careers. They are at greater risk of parental abuse and neglect.
The rise in divorces is one reason why the family unit fell apart.
The Explosion Of Divorces In America
There has also been a significant increase in the US divorce rate. It accelerated in the 1960s and peaked in 1981. In 1970, 4% of the total adult population divorced. However, by 1992 that number increased to 11%.
About 50% of marriages today end in divorce. Children of divorce and single-parent families are less likely to get married. If they marry, they are more likely to divorce than those from two-parent families.
Marriage in the US was once considered a lifetime commitment. Divorce was something that regular people didn't do back then. It was dirty, both for the people getting a divorce and for the lawyers handling it. You couldn't divorce unless there was a fault, such as adultery or abuse.
Proving fault created such a barrier to divorce in 1969. Governor of California Ronald Reagan signed the first
no-fault divorce act in the same year. It later spread to most of the other 49 states.
Divorce skyrocketed in the seventies because of no-fault divorces. Each year, about 4 million people get married in the US. A basic marriage ceremony can finish in 10 minutes. All required is proof of age and a $50 fee for a marriage license.
However, getting divorced is far from easy. Although these laws made filing for divorce easier, it wasn't faster to complete. If your spouse is in total agreement and wants to end things on a happy note, you need the approval of a family court.
Divorce Is A $50 Billion Dollar Industry
Family courts can be like the wild west. The US constitution does not apply in family court. The constitution states that you're entitled to a trial by jury and an attorney. But that doesn't exist in the family courts in America.
Ordinary courts have 12 people on the jury, but in a family courtroom, there is only one person. In family court, you don't have the right to an attorney.
Divorce is a massive business in the United States. The first thing that lawyers do is find out exactly how much money you and your spouse have. You will fill out an income expense declaration to find out how much you're worth.
And once someone starts making accusations against you in court, you have no choice but to fight back. You could lose your house, money, possessions, and children if you don't. The court creates a battleground where both sides come up with accusations.
Both sides want to win. There's nothing secret. Everybody's sexual habits, lack of hygiene, or other obscure facts come into court. If you don't respond, you either lose by default.
Divorce attorneys are sharks that want to take everything you got.
Lawyers Make A Killing By Exploiting Broken Marriages
Divorce lawyers are in it for the money and will milk your case for years. They drag on and delay the case for months or years. The attorneys don't want to settle. Otherwise, they cut their income stream.
The lawyers also have complete immunity in family court. A lawyer can say or do anything. It doesn't matter how false his claims are or if he milks the case.
A lot of people go into debt as a result of their divorces. Some attorneys put a lien on your house to ensure you pay them. They bleed you dry until all the money is gone. Divorce is a $50 Billion industry in the United States
And if that isn't enough, the court can even order you to sell everything you own. The average divorce cost is $50,000. In the last 40 years, the number of divorce lawyers exploded. It increased by over 2000% in California alone.
And when children get involved, things get even more complicated.
The family court still believes that the woman stays home with the kids and the man is the breadwinner.
But over the past 60 years, more women have attained financial independence. Both spouses work, and the income gap has become much smaller. It will be less relevant as time goes on because women are less likely to be housewives.
Another reason for the decline of the family is feminism.
The Feminist Movement Destroyed The Nuclear Family
The feminist movement of the 1960s began to change how Americans viewed women in the home. Activists considered marriage a low-paying job and a trap you couldn't escape.
The feminist movement was never about creating equality between the sexes. Instead, it was a move from governments worldwide to destroy the family unit.
The government didn't tax the vast majority of the female population. Since the government raised the standard of living, we couldn't survive on one salary. Instead, women had to work to pay their bills with their husbands.
The result was that women became part of the taxation slave system. Women no longer raised their children. Instead, governments started caring for their children in daycare and schools.
When you break down the family, you make it easier to control people. Before feminism, parents taught their values to their kids. But now governments have taken that role.
In a strong supporting family, the kids become strong adults. But if they go from home to home and don't have a stable footing, they can become more anxious.
The government can then control them with ease. The kids are no longer part of a strong community and feel they don't belong anywhere.
When you don't have a solid bond with your parents, it can affect your future relationships. Let's explore how it impacts you.
How Our Bad Relationships With Our Parents Cause Attachment Issues
Most of our trauma starts in our childhood. In the 1930s, John Bowlby worked as a psychiatrist in a Child Guidance Clinic in London. In this clinic, he treated many emotionally disturbed children.
Bowlby believed that children's relationship with their mothers affected their emotional state. Infants would go to great lengths to avoid separation from their parents.
Behaviors like crying were responses to separation from a primary attachment figure. An attachment figure is someone who provides support, protection, and care.
Human infants cannot feed or protect themselves. They are dependent upon the care and protection of adults. Infants who were able to have an attachment figure would be more likely to survive.
Later on, Bowlby formulated his attachment theory. He also worked together with Mary Ainsworth. This is what they discovered.
The Revoluntary Study On Infant Attachment Issues
Mary Ainsworth was an American-Canadian developmental psychologist. She began to study infant-parent separations. Ainsworth and her students developed a technique called the strange situation. It was a laboratory model for studying infant-parent attachment.
In this experiment, 12-month-old infants and their parents entered a laboratory. They were then separated from and reunited with one another. About 60% of the children behaved in the usual way.
They became upset when the parent left the room. Later, when the parent returned, the children sought their comfort and calmed down.
Other children (about 20% or less) became more distressed. When they got reunited with their parents, they had a difficult time calming down. They wanted their parent's comfort but also punished them for leaving.
Another group of children didn't seem to worry after separating from their parents. Upon reunion, they avoided their parent. But when the scientists measured their stress levels, they were high.
Bowlby believed that the infant-caregiver relationship formed the adult's experience. It was not until the mid-1980s that researchers began to confirm his theory.
Hazan and Shaver were two of the first researchers to explore Bowlby's ideas. According to them, the attachment between children and parents affects our romantic relationships.
Let's explore these attachment styles further and how they affect our relationships.
Four Different Attachment Styles That Affect Our Future Relationships
There are four major attachment styles. Secure attachment is when children feel safe with their caregiver's emotional support. It is the best attachment style.
People with this characteristic become confident in themselves. They are more likely to succeed in their relationships and trust people.
Anxious-avoidant attachment is when infants avoid their parents. They learn this behavior when their parents push them away after they seek their love. As a result of keeping their distance, they receive their parent's protection.
People with this attachment style get anxious when a relationship becomes more intimate. They can have no problem talking to people about various topics. But when a relationship turns more personal, or they need to share their feelings, they freeze.
They may have a problem voicing their opinions and instead say, "I don't know." People with this attachment style believe that they need to avoid intimate relationships.
Anxious-ambivalent attachment is when infants feel ignored by their caregivers. They start to cling to their parents to get their attention. People with this attachment style worry that others may not love them.
They get frustrated or angered when their attachment needs go unmet. Adults often cling to others and become jealous when their partner talks to the opposite sex.
Disorganized attachment is when there is a lack of attachment behavior. Children with this attachment style have chaotic behavior. It is hard to expect how they will react. They often grew up in orphanages.
We have attachment issues due to parents not having the time or energy to be present with their kids.
Parent Have No Time For Their Kids
Children need their parents' affection to become secure. Sadly, many parents put their children in daycare before they are two. In the fifties, moms were always home. They also got support from their parents.
But now, this family structure is more unusual. Parents are busy working that they have no time for their kids. This problem has caused a lot of attachment issues.
We learn how to feel love and accept ourselves through our bond with our parents. Most of our relationships with our parents are often stressful and chaotic. If we have critical parents, we are more likely to lack self-confidence.
Children can't understand that their parent's anger has nothing to do with them. It has more to do with their parents' lack of loving themselves. To be a kind and loving parent, you must love and respect yourself.
How our parents treat us affects our image of ourselves. If parents are loving and caring, their children become self-confident. They will cherish and respect themselves and others more.
Parents confuse their children when they tell them they love them in an angry voice. Negative emotions are not the same thing as love. When parents worry about their kids, they do it out of fear, not love.
Our parents are not solely responsible for our suffering. Teachers, bullies, society, and social media also affect our self-esteem.
The Rise Social Media And Its Negative Effect On Relationships
The rise of social media has destroyed communities worldwide. Social media use increased tenfold with smart technology and the Internet.
It diminishes your ability to connect in real-time with the few who matter a lot. The more time you spend on your phone, the less enjoyment you derive from actual conversations.
We crave the intimate connection that only real-time interaction produces. Heavy social media use increases loneliness.
Social media can help us stay connected with friends over a long distance. You can engage with new people who can become real friends on a platform like Facebook. Social media can help us find local groups of people with the same interests.
But social media users tend to sleep less, are hyperactive, and struggle to be attentive. They are more vulnerable to social pressure than those who don't have social media accounts.
Social media is an oxymoron because it makes us more anti-social and lonely.
Social Media Makes Us More Lonely
The more time you spend on the Internet, the more socially isolated you get. Social media can ruin your self-esteem when everyone seems to do better than you. That comparison mentality may lead to depression.
After comparing your life with your friends on social media, you will envy them. They seem to be doing better and are happier than you are. Social media have replaced physical relationships.
Even though we can interact with more people on Facebook, we still feel lonelier than before. Facebook can make us feel worse about ourselves.
We crave likes and other validation on social media platforms. If we don't get good results, we feel bad about ourselves. Often, users talk with far-away friends and neglect those around them.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a review study. It looked at the effects of social media on youths' self-esteem. The analysis found that smartphones and social media increased mental distress and self-harm.
Social media could lead to decreased self-esteem in youth due to cyberbullying. Heavy cell phone use also leads to sleep deprivation and weaker academic performance.
Facebook doesn't meet the need for authentic intimacy. Most people show only the best parts of their lives on Facebook. It can feel like everyone else has a better life than you. The technology that was supposed to bring us together often isolates us even further.
A study of over 5000 people found that real social networks lead to more well-being than Facebook. The more that people used Facebook, the worse they felt. Today, too many people have no one with whom they feel safe enough to be open and vulnerable.
Facebook announced it was rebranding to Meta. The company wants to create a virtual reality called Metaverse. Everyone will be part of a fake virtual world. We will be more isolated and will not meet physically.
Another thing that destroyed communities was the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The Real Reason For The COVID-19 Pandemic
Looking back at the COVID-19 lockdown, you could see how it caused many people distress. We were not allowed to see our friends or interact with each other.
The reason governments worldwide locked people in was not due to a virus. Their real reason was to isolate people to control them. When people don't come together, they are easier to manage.
The COVID-19 pandemic had profound psychological and social effects. It caused distress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The COVID-19 crisis may increase suicide rates after the pandemic.
Albert Biderman studied US prisoners of the Korean War. He learned that the communists used psychological manipulations to make the prisoners comply. Biderman then wrote a report known as Biderman's Chart of Coercion.
Governments worldwide use these tactics to break the human spirit and make us comply. Physical control is never easy without the consent of the prisoner.
The most effective way to make them comply is through psychological torture. That's why we had social distancing.
Social Distancing Was A Way To Destroy Communities Worldwide
Social isolation is one of the best forms of torture. The purpose of social distancing is to keep people apart and not gather in groups. Social change is much easier when people band together.
When we are alone, we are much easier to control and manipulate. Social distancing is a euphemism for social isolation. It is a technique that the CIA uses to control victims.
Lockdowns were a type of isolation. Some people were stuck in hospitals without being able to contact or see their loved ones at all. Many older people couldn't leave nursing homes to meet their families.
Travel quarantines and limited social circles are other ways to isolate us. Social distancing and banning large gatherings are evident isolation techniques.
Governments worldwide kicked unvaccinated people out from society. Joe Biden encouraged companies to fire people that didn't take the vaccine. If we wanted to meet each other later, we had follow governments and take their poison-ridden vaccines.
We must rebuild the community if we want to improve society and our health. Scroll down to learn how to use the community to improve your cancer.
Being part of a cancer support community can help you manage your cancer.
The oldest people on earth are part of strong communities.
People who are lonely, depressed, and isolated are more likely to get sick and die.
In the 1950s, people lived three generations together.
Moms in the 1950s stayed home, watched the kids, cared for the home, and cooked, and men worked.
In the 1950s, parents, and society expected kids to do chores around the house.
Cars and technology brought significant changes in children's lives on both the farm and in town.
Most Americans no longer spend much time in community organizations.
Kids born out of wedlock have gone through the roof.
Divorces went off the roof after the no-fault divorce act in 1969.
Divorce is a massive business in the United States.
A lot of people go into debt as a result of their divorces.
The feminist movement of the 1960s began to change how Americans viewed women in the home.
John Bowlby believed that children's relationship with their mothers affected their emotional state.
Mary Ainsworth began to study infant-parent separations.
There are four major attachment styles.
Parents are busy working that they have no time for their kids.
The rise of social media has destroyed communities worldwide.
Even though we can interact with more people on Facebook, we still feel lonelier than before.
COVID-19 lockdowns were a form of social isolation.
Governments used social distancing to destroy communities.
How To Join A Cancer Support Community
1. Find friends that support your health habits
2. Join support groups
3. Spend time with your inner circle
If you want to improve your chances of beating cancer, being part of a cancer support community might help. Go through your address book or your contact list of friends. What friend supports your healthy habits and challenges you mentally? Which ones can you rely on in case of need?
If you, for example, want to eat a healthy vegan diet, find friends or other people that share the same goal. Meet up often and encourage each other.
If you don't know such people, join support groups. One great group is Healing Strong. Healing Strong is an organization whose mission is to connect, support, and educate individuals who have cancer.
Its motto is to help to rebuild the body, renew the soul, and refresh the spirit. Through this organization, you can join various support groups.
Spend at least 30 minutes a day with members of your inner circle. Establish a regular time to meet or share a meal. Building a solid friendship requires some effort. But this investment will pay you back in added years.
Adopting good habits is much easier when everyone around you is already practicing them. Therefore, you must find activities you enjoy and share them with others. In this way, you have a higher purpose and feel more secure.
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