Recovering from an injury or an illness isn’t fun. Accidents are unforeseen, and the physical work and pain that is associated with healing can be a daunting reality. If you, or someone you know, has been badly hurt and will need physical therapy to regain motor functioning and use of the injured parts of the body, there are some things you should know.
One of the most integral parts to successfully transitioning into physical therapy is the type of mindset you have. Mindset really is everything, and without it, you may feel continuously discouraged and flounder on your healing journey. Keep these tips in mind as you start your path towards getting better.
Set a goal
Depending on the severity of your injury, the type of goal that would be the best to set will differ. Whether it’s to be able to walk with fuller motion and limited pain, to be able to play a fun game of basketball with your buddies or to have less need for your folding cane – whatever your specific goal, make it and keep it at the forefront of your mind.
Aim high. Don’t let yourself off of the hook but also understand that it’s a process that will take time. Be grateful for even the smallest, most incremental improvements. Visualize yourself at your goal at least once a day. See it when you close your eyes. Mimic the joy, triumph, and satisfaction you will feel once you reach it. Verbalize it; talk about it out loud to your family, friends and physical therapist.
Do not compare yourself to others
It can be a very slippery slope if you start to compare the progress of another patient’s injury to your own. Whether it’s someone who also frequents the same facility as you or someone you see online, understand that your goals, process, and healing are entirely your own and individually unique to you. Setting any type of imaginary yardstick will only cause you to be unfairly tough on yourself and potentially miss those small improvement markers.
Comparing your progress to another person’s can also lead to festering negative emotions that you aren’t good enough or strong enough or work hard enough. These feelings and notions can impede your progress. Don’t let other people’s goals and accomplishments sidetrack you; you have your eyes on your prize, and that’s what counts the most.
Understand your power
There is so much that any one human being is capable of. There have been countless upon countless occurrences of people working tirelessly to improve their health, physical situation and abilities. Your muscles, ligaments, bones, nerves, and limbs can be strengthened to a place of restoration. They can be catapulted towards healing if you believe that you, in conjunction with your physical therapist and doctors, can make it happen.
Don’t overdo it or push yourself beyond a breaking point, but always remain acutely aware of your body’s tremendous strength and potential. Understand that your mental fortitude will often take your physical body to impressive places you may not even realize you have the capacity to reach. The body is a malleable, and often impressively capable, entity that can fully recover and heal from accidents. You need to give yourself enough credit and believe that the outcome is entirely possible.
It’s easy to want to reach your healing goal as quickly as possible but you must realize that it may take a bit longer than you originally anticipated. That doesn’t make you a failure or weak; it just means your body wasn’t yet at a point where it could pass that threshold to get to the next benchmark.
It can sometimes be easy to have motivation and inspiration in the beginning, but understanding the core elements within a huge recover is going to require you dig deep and find that motivation consistently throughout your journey, even when you don’t feel up to it, even when you feel down or discouraged. Know that patience and absolute belief will get you so much further than negativity and self-doubt. Nothing is more important than hard work and the will to believe in your ability to make your goal a stunning, heartfelt reality.