Recovering from a Stroke – 3 Foolproof Ways to Stay Motivated

Recovering from a Stroke – 3 Foolproof Ways to Stay Motivated

Recovering from a stroke requires 4 essential elements that we’re going to cover step by step. This stroke recovery series includes:

  1. Motivation – because without a driving force, you’ll get nowhere
  2. Education – building your knowledge before taking action
  3. Exercise – taking proper action so that you can fully recover
  4. Prevention – so that it doesn’t happen again

You’re reading the first element of this series: motivation. We hope it rocket fuels your recovery and provide a powerful launching pad for the other 3 elements.

Don’t Let Your Doctors Mind-Trick You

Doctors are notorious for inflicting the nocebo effect on you without even realizing it.

What is the nocebo effect? And why is it such a big deal?

The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. During the placebo effect, you hear about the good effect of something and just the simple act of believing in it makes it come true. For example, a sugar pill that cures your cold? You fooled me into it, so it worked!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the nocebo effect occurs when you hear about the negative effects of something (like the limitations of your recovery) and because you believe in them, they come true.

For example, your doctor told you that you’ll never be able to walk again? They just planted that seed in your mind.

Now it’s time to un-plant that seed. Reject what the nay-sayers think and prove them wrong. Use the power of purposeful, positive thinking to achieve the full recovery that you deserve.

Harness the Relentless Force of Kaizen to Achieve Success

Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement through small, consistent steps.

This philosophy might be the single best approach to your rehabilitation. We are often tempted to approach things full-throttle, trying to achieve the biggest results in the shortest amount of time.

But that’s not the way rehabilitation works.

That’s how burnout works. So stop focusing on how far away your end goal is and start focusing on the one small thing you have to do today to reach success. And day after day you’ll see your efforts accumulate and recovery will come naturally.

And it will be easy too because you won’t be overwhelmed with how far you have to go. You won’t give up because of this daunting obstacle ahead. Instead, you’ll take it day by day and tackle this obstacle the smart way.

Build Your Happiness Factor

Happy people are more motivated than sad people.

That’s just the way it goes. Usually happy people are more ambitious and driven because they have positive thoughts and emotions to fuel them. Depressed individuals have to work that much harder to muster the courage to take right action.

This means that in order to excel in your recovery, you need to be happy. Here are 3 ways to improve your happiness factor:

Each of these options will help boost your happiness and propel you through each day with focused vision: to achieve a higher recovery.

The science of healing and happiness are closely interlaced, and you must master both.

Now that you have the happiness part handled, let’s move onto the healing part.

Up Next is Part 2: Education – Building Essential Knowledge

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  • Rowena Nichols

    Finally I have found a source of information that is ‘positive’ and true. For years I have looked for therapists locally who believe what I have known (and now practice to recover from a stroke) and used for many years. There are none. I created my own therapy program which is limited because I have only one hand/arm and leg to use to help with movements, but it’s possible to improve. I have progressed from, “your mother will either die or survive as a vegetable” to walking with a walker and doing volunteer work in a ‘Brain Injury Resource Center’. Thank you so much for your encouraging words to help others.

    • Flint

      Thanks for the comment Rowena! It’s good to hear that these words are needed and appreciated. What kind of therapy are you doing? I am very intrigued by your self-created regimen. Keep up the amazing work!

      • Rowena Nichols

        Two days after going home I discovered a loss of muscle mass in my right arm (biceps and triceps) so I began frequent massage of upper arm. Muscle mass soon restored. Home therapy started soon after arriving home with attempts to help with transfers in and out of wheel chair. Unable to lift my foot but but persisted with concentration. I talked to my body and thanked it for trying. My exercise program started about 4-5 months post stroke. Prior to that received only Acupuncture and the 6-weeks of Physical Therapy permitted by Medicare. There was no therapy, only observation. Acupuncture also failed. I decided to try to do things I did at home prior to my stroke. I use my bathroom as an exercise room where I have room to stand in front of the sink. With the wheel chair behind me I started by curling my fingers into the sink overflow and holding on firmly. I began with leg lifts and manged to lift my heel up twice the first time. Each time I thought of an exercise I believed it was because my body was ready to try it. Some of the exercises I do regularly are: Leg lifts with knee to sink counter top; swing leg to side, hold a few seconds and place foot on floor at starting point with control; swing leg forward and back; lift foot up behind me; stand on right foot for 10-15 seconds with minimum support of left hand at sink; raise foot to edge of tub and do ‘crunches’; body twist to each side and note how far behind me I can see; side bends to each side to stretch core muscles; deep knee bends; toe touches; stand on tip-toes. ARM exercises: raise arm in front and to the side; flex arm at elbow and touch shoulder (not quite there yet but getting closer); stretch arm forward, touch patterns on shower curtain at different heights and distances to the side; bend arm up and move elbow out to side then move arm back and forth and up and down (chicken wing); swing arm at side as when walking; reach across body and move right hand up and down left arm. I can now bathe my left arm with my right hand most of the time. There are many other exercises I do in the chair and in bed. My diagnosis was “severe hemorrhagic stroke, left thalamus with bleed into temporal area. Prognosis: death or survival as a vegetable. Complete paralysis of right side including involvement of internal organs, loss of hearing on the right side, loss of control of food and liquids, some aphasia. Age at time of stroke 84, now 89. I had no time for depression. Currently have four volunteer jobs (three are done electronically from my computer), and I wrote a book to help other stroke survivors. Self-published and circulated 48 copies with request from a Naturopathic Physician in AL to write a second book and illustrate it. Perhaps the most important aspect of my ‘therapy’ is maintenance of a good mental attitude. I do not watch the local news or TV shows (dramas). I watch two game shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune for the purpose of memory stimulus. I spend some time daily in meditation and read voraciously – mostly spiritual, philosophical, biographies, true documented stories. I also watch university level courses on DVDs of many subjects. Prayers of thanksgiving are frequently expressed every day. I have been blessed!