Staying motivated during stroke recovery can be challenging, and we’re going to share 3 tips that can help. Our approach focuses on developing a positive mentality, whereas our last article on stroke recovery motivation focused more on overall best practices. To learn how to develop a positive mentality that will foster motivation during your recovery, read on!
Focus on the Process, Not the End Result
Staying focused on the end result might seem like the best way to reach your goals, but that’s not always true. As we discussed in our goal-setting post, when you stay focused on a long-term goal without setting short-term goals along the way, you’ll lose steam quickly because your eyes are set too far ahead. And it can be incredibly un-motivating when it seems like you’re not making any progress.
So instead, focus on the process instead of the end result. Focus on what’s happening right here and right now, and it will help keep you focused on the small improvements that you can celebrate. And when you can tune into the good that’s happening right now, it will boost your confidence and sense of control. What better recipe for motivation than that?
Learn to Love the Negative Space
We got this idea from stroke survivor Marcelle Greene, who wrote about this concept as a positive motivator during her recovery.
Marcelle explained that in the world of art and design, there’s a concept called ‘negative space’ that describes the empty space around the thing that you want your audience to focus on. Marcelle’s stroke impaired her ability to do many of the things she loved, which created negative space in her life. However, negative space doesn’t have to be emotionally negative. Instead, Marcelle chose to view her limitations as a positive thing.
You see, the new negative space in Marcelle’s life allowed her to focus on the other things she loved; things that she always wished she could devote more time to. Marcelle always wanted to devote more time to writing, and she chose to view her stroke as an opportunity to finally get around to it. Using your newly found negative space can help you identify new opportunities in your life. And an opportunity-focused mentality will help you stay positive and focused on the good things, which is incredibly motivating.
Use Identity Motivators
This idea also came for Marcelle Greene and her awesome blog. As a former fitness writer, she explains that there are 3 types of motivators:
- Negative consequence motivators, where you are motivated by the idea of not getting worse
- Positive consequence motivators, where you are motivated by the idea of getting better
- Identity motivators, where you are motivated to do something because it’s part of who you are
Identity motivators can be extremely useful for stroke survivors who need motivation to do their rehab exercises. To implement this form of motivation, try identifying yourself as a person who never gives up and always does their rehab exercises – it’s just a part of who you are.
The success behind this type of motivation is that it’s hard to give up a piece of our identity. So when we become identified with our goals, we will be motivated to pursue them because we want to stay consistent with ourselves. Try it and see if it will work for you.
And with these 3 tips, you can start creating positive thinking habits that will boost your motivation during stroke recovery. Have you tried any? How did they work? Leave us a comment below – we’re curious!