This is part 6 of our Ultimate Guide to Life after a Stroke series.
The Best Mindset for Stroke Recovery
There are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.
When faced with a problem, someone with a fixed mindset takes some action, but soon feels like they’ve maxed out, so they give up easily.
Those with a growth mindset have the ability to look past obstacles and see the bigger picture. They avoid limiting beliefs like the plague, and they believe in their potential.
Fixed mindsets keep you stuck, whereas growth mindsets keep you going – and everyone can benefit from a growth mindset, which you can develop by habitually switching your thought patterns.
Whenever you feel yourself having a negative thought about your recovery, like “I’ll never be able to get my hand back to normal,” replace that thought with a positive one. For example, “In time, I’ll be able to get my hand back if I’m disciplined about my hand therapy exercises.”
If you consciously make this switch over and over, your brain will adapt because neuroplasticity works on everything. And with enough repetitive practice, your subconscious thoughts will turn into positive, encouraging ones.
It’s All About Discipline, Baby
Now, positive thoughts are all well and dandy, but we can’t achieve anything on thoughts alone. We need to take consistent, disciplined action to achieve our goals.
Discipline is about having perseverance in the presence of overwhelming challenges. It’s about doing your best every single day – no matter the result – to advance your goals.
A disciplined stroke survivor will do her leg exercises whether she feels like it or not, because it’s nonnegotiable to her. Whether she does them better or worse than the previous day, it doesn’t matter. She always feels good about sticking to her intentions.
In this way, discipline and goal-setting go hand in hand. When you have goals, you have a compelling reason to take action. You’re less likely to wait until you feel like doing something, and instead you just do it.
That’s what discipline is.
Next, you’ll learn how 30 second visualizations can boost your recovery.
Up next is Part 7: Developing Essential Habits
Earlier posts in this Life after Stroke series: