Welcome to the final post of our stroke recovery tips series. Find our other tips here:
With one third of stroke survivors suffering from post-stroke depression – and most others suffering from anger, grief, or frustration – fostering positive emotions during stroke recovery is essential.
Here are 8 tips that can help.
21. Posture Is Weirdly Important
Try this: Lift your arms up into a V (using one arm works just as well) and puff your chest up. How do you feel?
You probably feel more presence, confidence, and comfortability in your body. At least, that’s what psychologist Amy Cuddy discovered during her research on body language.
‘Power posing,’ which includes expanding your body to make yourself feel big, boosts the testosterone (the dominance hormone) and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). This winning combination makes us feel positive and powerful when we’re in that posture.
Next time you’re feeling low, strike a power pose.
22. Happy Gut, Happy Brain
Your gut health is closely tied to your brain health through the gut-brain axis. Many studies have linked an unhealthy microbiome, the ecosystem of 100 trillion little bacteria in your gut, with anxiety and depression.
To alleviate post stroke depression caused by an impaired microbiome, make sure that you eat foods containing probiotics (like yogurt, tempeh, and kimchi) or take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
You’ll learn quickly after ingesting some probiotics whether it was the cause or not.
23. Know How to Ask
Knowing how to ask for help during stroke recovery is essential because you can’t do everything yourself. As much as you may want to, it’s simply too demanding.
You may need help around the house, or you might just need someone to lend a listening ear. Whatever it is, don’t be too proud to ask. Even the strongest people need others to lean on.
24. Freedom and Fun Are Yours
There are so many ways to find freedom and happiness during stroke recovery. You just have to experiement and find one that works for you.
For one, you can use painting to get into the state of flow, a place where you’re completely present with what you’re doing and everything else melts away.
You could also try dance movement therapy or yoga to work on your body-mind connection.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you manage to have a little fun!
25. Develop Your Self-Confidence
One of the best ways to boost your mood and self-confidence is to recite self-affirmations daily. It feels weird, but it’s one of the most popular pieces of advice in self-help literature.
If you tell yourself that you feel good, then you’ll feel good! Or at least better than before. Try reciting this affirmation to yourself: “I can handle any obstacle that life throws my way.”
Then repeat it over and over for 5 minutes a day, and eventually your mind will buy into it. You’ll feel much more confident the next time you hit a bump in the road because you’ll recall those words.
26. Permission to Grieve
Everyone who goes through loss must deal with grief.
If you don’t face your feelings, they’ll continue to sit inside and stir up negative emotions until they’re finally free. Instead of suppressing your anger and depression, acknowledge that they’re there and treat them with the respect they deserve.
Then give yourself permission to fully feel them and let them run their course. The sooner you start the grieving process, the sooner you’ll find acceptance.
27. Make Peace with Slow
We live in a society that idolizes busyness and productivity, and we’ve become programmed to resist slow processes and opt for a faster way of doing things. As you can imagine, this creates inner turmoil when we can’t do things fast and conveniently.
This is where change needs to be made.
Learn how to become a master of the science of healing and happiness by focusing on mindfulness and meditation. It will help you live more presently and make peace with slow, and you’ll be so much happier because of it.
28. Master Your Healing & Happiness
If you’d like to take everything that you just learned to the next level, then you will enjoy our stroke recovery book called Healing & Happiness After Stroke.
Our science-based book shows you exactly how to boost self-esteem, happiness, and recovery.
If you’d like to learn more, click here to read the first 3 chapters free.