After experiencing a stroke, it’s common to feel tired and mentally fatigued. While it’s an unfortunate side effect, a good meditation practice can help reduce this fatigue. Yes, really. Meditation for stroke recovery can also provide a wealth of other benefits. Let’s dive in.
Meditation for Stroke Recovery
According to this study, meditation significantly helped stroke survivors reduce mental fatigue during stroke recovery. With this side effect minimized, stroke survivors can devote more energy to rehabilitation exercises and boost motor recovery. More energy also means more opportunity to engage in social activities which can help reduce depression and anxiety. As you can see, meditation can be a game-changer when added to your rehabilitation regimen.
The Goal of Meditation
To meditate, your only goal is to focus on the present moment without thinking. By silencing the internal chatter, you can remove judgement and negative thoughts. As a stroke survivor, accepting the present moment can be very difficult. As you grow your meditation practice, however, you’ll find that you have an increased capacity to accept things as they are and find peace.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
A specific type of meditation called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can help you calm your mind and body, which is especially beneficial for stroke survivors. MBSR has been gaining popularity within the medical field as an effective treatment for coping with pain and anxiety.
How to Practice MBSR
To practice Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, begin in a comfortable seated position or lie down on your back. Then, bring attention into your entire body, starting with your feet and slowly moving up to your head. As you scan your body, notice your breath and watch it relax. As you begin to clear your mind, you’ll notice that it’s hard to not think. So when thoughts arise, notice them but do not judge them. Simply let it pass and return to the present moment.
It takes dedicated practice to develop the capacity to stay in the present moment, so start with small intervals and work your way up. Try starting with something as short as 2 minutes. As you continue to gain momentum, it will transform your recovery – and quite possibly your life.
Do you meditate or practice mindfulness? Leave us a comment below to share your experience or advice with us.