This is part 7 of our Ultimate Guide to Life after a Stroke series.
2 Minutes in the Morning
Meditation is a game-changing habit that boosts recovery in multiple ways.
The latest studies have shown that meditation can help:
Just 2 minutes a day can get this habit started, and reap massive benefits down the line.
Meditation sounds like a simple solution – almost too simple to actually work – but focusing the mind can prove to be quite difficult. To make things easier, follow these guidelines to get started, and have patience with the process.
Meditation gets easier with time because, like any skill or habit, the more you practice the better you get.
(It always comes back to neuroplasticity.)
30 Seconds Whenever
You can also use neuroplasticity to train yourself to accomplish difficult tasks through the process of visualization (i.e. mind sculpture).
Whenever you’re facing a road block in your recovery, simply spend 30 seconds a day visualizing yourself conquering that road block. Thirty seconds is all you need to change your brain chemistry.
It works best to start with a small(ish) task that you wish you could do, and focus on that until you conquer it.
As you visualize yourself doing this task – and you visualize it every day – your brain will begin to rewire itself to mentally master the task. Then, your body just has to follow through.
Have you noticed the trend here? Your brain masters new tasks through repetitive practice.
It doesn’t matter if the repetition is mental or physical. Everything helps.
Good Habits = Success
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” –Brian Tracy
To succeed in your recovery, set up a morning routine of meditating, visualizing, and journaling.
Journaling is a therapeutic way to cope with all the changing variables in your life. Sometimes we don’t know what we feel until we write it down. And a journal is a great way to keep track of your problems and progress.
You also need to develop a habit of doing your rehab exercises.
While this one is obvious, everything gets a little easier when you pick a specific time to do your rehab exercises every day (like in the morning right after your cup of stroke preventing coffee). You’ll end up spending less mental energy willing yourself to do it, and you’ll just do it – leaving more mental energy for your brain to relearn movement.
Lastly, you should become a habitual teacher.
Make a habit of spending some time every week reading about stroke rehabilitation. For a constant stream of new information, keep coming back to this blog. For more in-depth information, check out some good stroke recovery books.
The more you know, the more you’ll succeed.
And that’s a fact.
Earlier posts in this Life after Stroke series: