The Mind/Body Connection: Did I get cancer because of stress and trauma?


“Yesterday, I started researching more about the body-mind connection and its role in illness.

Everything I’ve read and watched says the same thing in different ways: that underlying, ongoing stress & trauma is directly linked to disease, including cancer. 

This brought me to Gabor Mate’s book ‘When the Body Says No’

Essentially his thesis is that stress and repressed emotions prepare the ground for disease to fester, and that Type C personalities (aka low key, mellow chillers who don’t like drama, who rarely feel anger, who flex their boundaries to create immediate ease for others… aka ME!!) are most susceptible.

I feel really down having read this…”

I wrestled with these ideas for a long time, and blamed myself for co-creating – albeit unintentionally and unconsciously – the cancerous tumour in my body. 

Maté wrote: “When we have been prevented from learning how to say no, our bodies may end up saying it for us”.

And whilst I’ll never know how true this perspective is – nor whether my cancer diagnosis had deep psycho-somatic roots – I eventually stopped beating myself up, stopped obsessing about “why did this thing happen”, and instead decided to use this theory as interesting information and opportunity…

Opportunity to remove as much external stress as possible and to regulate my nervous system as a major, major part of my treatment.

To rest my body and repair my immune system as a major, major part of my healing process.

To address areas of my life that felt out of balance and uneasy. To tend to old emotional wounds. To re-examine the way I wanted to live my life moving forwards.

To strengthen my sense of self and learn that it’s OK to be an angry, boundaried babe if I want to be!!!

No matter what you think about mind/body schools of thought, a cancer diagnosis is a reckoning. And an opportunity to re-evaluate everything.

It’s also an opportunity to do a comprehensive MOT on your stress levels & where your nervous system is at, to face emotional baggage and blocks that may be causing you harm, to express + release ugly feelings and to re-examine how you walk the path of life…. It may all be for the sake of your health, but also for your sanity and for leading a more a genuine way of life…


PS – by the way, over time, as time went on I widened my perspective RE the ‘cause of cancer’ – there MAY be stress-related / emotional / psycho-spiritual components to this horrific disease, but there are also MANY, MANY, MANY OTHER contributing factors… 18 months later and I really have started to question how & why that whole world places so much blame and pressure on the individual… So please don’t do what I did and beat yourself up, that’s literally the worst thing you can do 🙏 

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