Steps to Mental and Physical Recovery

After having a stroke, it’s understandable that you may be discouraged. These key steps can help you recover mentally and physically:

1. Think positively.

Never say never. Believe that you will walk and speak again. Get rid of negative words from your vocabulary. Use phrases like, “I will” and “I do.”

2. Accept that you’ve had a stroke.

Acceptance shouldn’t be confused with giving up. Instead of mourning the past, acceptance helps you handle present circumstances and think of your future.

3. Get support.

You can find support through your family, friends, church and therapy. It’s important to have social outlet, encouragement, guidance and information. You don’t have to do this alone.

4. Focus on meaningful goals.

Although many people think happiness is a matter of circumstance, what they make of those circumstances often matters more. Those who face adversity often discover, to their own surprise, that they’re as happy or almost as happy as they were before encountering an obstacle like a stroke. Focusing on meaningful goals, finding ways to contribute to others and staying flexible are key.

5. Aim for silver-lining thinking.

You can find creative ways to minimize emotional pain by looking for silver linings in dark clouds. Many survivors say their strokes taught them invaluable lessons, forming their characters in unique, satisfying ways.

6. Stay informed.

Play an active role in your recovery. When you and your health care professional share information, it helps you both to make informed decisions about your care. To get a faster and more accurate diagnosis and to have better outcomes, ask questions about your diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Make sure you understand the answers. Accurate knowledge can help you feel empowered.

7. Stay social.

Anyone who’s been to a good stroke support group knows that sharing with others makes life better — and lending support can be just as beneficial. Connect with others with similar experience, learn helpful information and help ease the depression and isolation that’s common after stroke.

8. Review how religion can play a role.

Those who belong to a faith-based community gain the benefit of social support in trying times. Religious beliefs can also boost emotional resilience by providing meaning and purpose to suffering, and prayer also helps people find peace of mind.