The benefits of a positive attitude are infinite, no one ever complains about a positive attitude causing problems! Positive attitudes come from positive people, positive people experience greater quality of health. Research has indicated that people who report having a positive attitude generally live a longer and happier life. Positive people are able to focus on taking care of their health and increasing their overall quality of life. However, being positive is hard. Life is hard! Managing injuries and surgery is hard. But, you can actively take steps towards achieving a positive attitude during your injury or surgery recovery journey. Some days will be harder than others, but you are doing your part in achieving a positive attitude, bettering your life!
1. Stop, Breathe, & Refocus
Stop. It happened. Don’t replay the moment of your injury over and over in your head. Being injured sucks. But, to begin this recovery journey you need to accept that you are injured and need to recover. Take a moment to breathe. Accept that you are injured. Accept that having a positive attitude is going to take work. Most of all, accept that you cannot control the past, you can only control your emotional response. Use your emotional energy to refocus on your new normal and accept that you have changed. This new normal may be constructed of new challenges and limitations, but with a positive attitude you can change your normal once again. Don’t spend all your energy focusing on the past, spend some time focusing on the present, and what you can do for your future self.
2. Self Care: You’re More Than A One Trick Pony (You’re More Than Your Injury)
You are not defined by your injury. You are more than the sport you played before being injured. You likely have interests and passions you have yet to discover. Life can be so busy that we often forget to continue to explore new interests that we might fall in love with. It is important that you have a positive attitude not only in your recovery journey, but in your everyday life. Try experimenting with yoga. Research has shown that it increases individuals' overall levels of happiness. Yoga is highly adaptable, listen to your body and what it needs. It is also a great activity to integrate physical activity into your everyday schedule.
3. Face the Facts: Adapt
You need to adapt! Your recovery journey is going to introduce you to new challenges and limitations, that is without a doubt. It is up to you to rise to the challenge. Don’t use your injury to let your overall health deteriorate, physical health is key to a positive attitude. Being physically active releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness and motivation. Start your physical rehabilitation journey with your recommended physical activities from your doctor or physical therapist. Check out our Curovate app for video guided exercises - link at the end of this blog. Also read this blog "How do you make exercises more enjoyable?" to learn how you can fall in love with your exercises! You can also use this time to work out and focus on strengthening other areas of your body that are not injured. Make sure you consult your doctor or physical therapist first to make sure you are not involving your injured or surgical area.
4. Cultivate a Positive Environment
What makes you happy? What brings positive energy to your life? As humans, we are influenced by our environment. Create a positive environment around yourself, focus on the space where you are going to be doing your physical rehabilitation during your recovery journey. Spend time talking to people who inspire you to recover, providing you emotional support during this time. Think about what is motivating you to recover, write these motivations down, and post them to see a daily reminder for why you are recovering. Something as simple as playing a positive song may increase your positive attitude during your recovery journey.
5. Challenge Yourself… Slowly (Get Up, Get Out, Benefits of Physical Activity)
Physical activity is the key to a positive attitude. There are infinite mental health benefits to being physically active such as improving self image, social- and thinking- skills! Physical activity has also been reported to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, often associated with injury. It is important you continue to slowly challenge your levels of physical activity to continue to improve your physical health. So get up! Keep working, keep progressing.
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2. Berke JD. What does dopamine mean? Nature Neuroscience. 2018;21(6):787-793. doi:10.1038/s41593-018-0152-y.
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