Bouncing Back Stronger After a Life-changing Injury
November 18, 2015 12:00 AM EST | 5 min read
Personal injuries often do more than just physical damage.
When your body changes, your mind also tend to follow a similar path.
It’s easy to feel incomplete or frustrated, but who said this disability needs to define who you are?
Better yet, what’s stopping you from doing even more and achieving as much as possible? ”
Bouncing Back Stronger After a Life-changing Injury
Like a lot of things, it all comes down to having the right mindset and mentality.
Life can be dangerous and recent history is a strong example of that.
The news is often full of stories, such as the notorious Boston bombings, where innocent people are put in harm’s way.
Yet, the news is always full of stories of hopeful, positive-thinking people overcoming physical barriers.
So, how can you transform your life after such an injury?
Having the right attitude is always a benefit, but it only takes a few simple changes to start heading in the right direction.
Push Your Physical Limits
Injuries often try to determine what we, as people, can and cannot do.
Yet it only takes a little motivation and energy to push past this initial barrier and achieve great victories.
For example, what happens when you damage your leg or knee?
If you were into running, basketball or even some form of dedicated workout routines, many people might think this is no longer possible.
However, modern science can often help people with minor injuries and, for everyone else, there are plenty of alternative sports activities to take up.
Paralympic sports are available for people in wheelchairs, for instance.
It’s all about ignoring what your body can’t do and focusing on what it can do.
By switching this negative into a positive, you can hone your body and keep your physical performance up.
Many people often find it easier to push other people than to push themselves.
Some people also find that motivating others is the true goal to achieving things yourself.
If you set others on the right path, you might end up following suit as a result!
In other words, this is a case of thinking externally, rather than internally.
Rather than focusing inwards, you can encourage others and, at some level, encourage yourself as well.
Here are a few examples of how to do this:
- Volunteer work or other programs to engage with the less fortunate
- Motivational speaking or campaigning for something you believe in such as the environment
- Support groups to help people in a similar position
If you have the time, these can all be very rewarding.
You might even end up becoming inspired or motivated yourself!
Get Out There
Similarly, one of the worst things you can do is nothing.
If you spend all day inside, shut out from the world, it’s easy to let physical injuries define you.
Getting outside does a number of things; especially preventing any injury from restricting you.
It also provides stimulation, social benefits and a better, more engaged life.
Simply having something to do will distract you from your health issues, ultimately letting you ignore these limitations all together.
One of the best ways to do this is to look for regular, paid work or other social activities that operate regularly.
These get you out the house on a daily basis, helping you to lead a normal life, and introduce you to other people.
Chart Your Progress
Sometimes you have to count the small victories first.
When your body changes and your whole life take a pretty heavy blow, recovery can be a long process.
As such, if you can get into the right mindset of celebrating even the smallest successes, you can lead a much happier life.
These results can be anything, as long as they’re important or represent a smaller piece of the larger goal.
For instance, perhaps you want to get back into shape?
Your goals could be:
- Joining a gym
- Keeping to an exercise program for 3 months
- Losing weight
- Lifting more weights or running further
- Taking up a new activity or learning a new skill
These might seem simple, but they all count.
They show what you can do now, whereas only a short time ago you might have thought of them as impossible.
Eventually, these results will stack up and you can easily chart your progress.
All these minor successes will generally cultivate into one big achievement when you look back on your former self.
Similarly, there are many ways to chart progress.
Keeping mental note is simple, but there’s nothing wrong with writing in a dairy, starting a blog or otherwise keeping track of your achievements.
Blogs are a great example, as they can often help motivate others through the wide scope of the internet.
Too much free time can often be your enemy.
Many of these everyday life hacks, as you may have noticed, revolve around occupying yourself.
Whether it’s working, meeting others or taking up new activities, it’s important to have things to do each day.
If you have too many free hours, then it simply means there’s something you could do.
Maybe you could work more, take up a new hobby, or look into dating?
In short, it’s all about looking for possibilities and opportunities.
A couch potato is seldom seen as a shining example, but it’s easy to admire someone who always goes out there and tries to succeed.
It’s also important to be part of your local community and the wider world.
While it’s often impulsive to be reclusive after a life-changing event, it only puts up various barriers.
Pushing yourself to go outside lets you meet people and, perhaps more importantly, you can become an example to others.
Again, this is all about getting in the right frame of mind; don’t let your injury tell you what you can’t do.
Just do the things you can do!
Like the famous proverbial phrase – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade“.