How To Mentally Recover From A Significant Injury
A significant injury can take a toll not only on someone's physical state but also their mental state. Broken bones, bruises, and other physical afflictions are often met with psychological stress, not only from the pain but from thoughts about what the injury could mean in the long run, particularly if the case of an athlete. Dealing with an injury can be scary, and one's thoughts can go to some dark places during the recovery process. In order to have the best recovery possible, an injured person needs to ensure their mind is in the right shape.
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A significant injury can be a frightening experience - both at the time of the initial occurrence and also in the aftermath - especially when there is no certainty about how severe the injuries are. One could have the urge to put on a brave face and act as if nothing is wrong, but if they are suppressing their true feelings, they could be delaying the inevitable and lash out unexpectedly at an inopportune time. Injured individuals should not be afraid of crying or feeling angry. They should be careful about what they do or say, but releasing those emotions makes an enormous difference on the road to recovery.
Focus On The Positive
It can be challenging to find a silver lining after an injury, but there is usually at least one. If one is still alive and has their mental faculties in check, then that is something to celebrate in itself. Injuries can have an intense impact ranging from incapacitation to death. There might be many things that the injured person wish had not occurred, but dwelling on what has happened will not help with the recovery process. Instead, one should think about how much they appreciate what they still can do. This does not diminish the seriousness of their injury, but it does serve as somewhat of a relief, provided they are willing to realize it.
Anyone who is recovering from an injury should avoid being overly optimistic as well as pessimistic. If expectations are too high for how quickly one will recover, they will end up feeling even more frustrated than they would otherwise when things do not go as planned. Injuries come in different forms, so the severity will depend on circumstances. An injured person should make as much of an effort as possible to recover, but they should not willfully ignore advice that they do not wish to hear as there needs to be maturity when handling this type of situation. Recovering from an injury can be a gradual process, and there should be no urge to speed up the process unnecessarily.
Accept Life Changes
Any significant injury is going to affect one's life; the main question is just how much impact it will have. A particularly debilitating injury can mean one has to stop playing a sport or they might not be able to move around in the same way they are used to. This does not mean that life is over and they will never be able to live remotely normally ever again. Instead, it means they will have to make some adjustments to their life that could be difficult to adapt to or accept. For an easier transition, one must be willing to accept that things could be different from now on.
Even if an injury was experienced alone, it does not mean that the person will have to recover alone. Support should be accepted in any form, from friends and family members giving their regards and offering assistance. The injured person should remember how much they are cared for and how many people are thinking of them throughout their recovery. They do not need to feel shy either. If one is in need of additional love and support, they should reach out. A brief phone conversation or email exchange could make all the difference in finding the strength to get through. Also, joining a support group of people who have gone through similar experiences is a valuable tool for success in the recovery process.
Talk to a Professional
An injury can take a significant toll on someone mentally. The thoughts that arise might be dark, disturbing and difficult to shake, even if the person knows these ideas are harmful. Reaching out to a qualified professional, such as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, can make an enormous difference in one's recovery process as they are free to express their thoughts with someone knowing that they have confidentiality. A professional can help one to understand their thought patterns better and provide an action plan to overcome negativity. When reaching out to someone who understands the human mind like a therapist, one is providing themselves with a great deal of help.
Take It Slow
Recovering from an injury has no deadline. How quickly one's body is able to recuperate depends on factors such as how severe the injury was, what sort of shape their body was in before injury, and any other unforeseen circumstances that arise in the aftermath. Mentally, they will not be doing themselves any favors by dwelling on their injury or thinking about how they "should" be recovering. There is no set way for anyone to recover from an injury. Instead, every person should understand that their recovery process is about them and there is no need to compare themselves to others.
Track Your Progress
When recovering from an injury, one can become weighed down by thoughts of how far they have to go, when they should be focusing on how far they have come. If focused on their recovery daily, one will begin to realize how much progress they have made over time. It will likely not be a full recovery in a week or even a month, but the results should be better over time. One should stay focused on the things they can do, and accept what they are unable to do. The recovery process is one that should be taken as steadily as possible in order to be successful.