June 22, 2011 Posted by danb
How Positive Thinking Can Help You Cope Through Recovery. By Ashyia Hill
Suffering a serious injury really tests your ability to think positively. But, having the right attitude can actually boost your odds of recovering from injury, illness, or surgery.
For example, one study found that people who think positively have a lower rate of rehospitalization after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Optimistic patients tended to be rehospitalized less than pessimistic patients for all related causes.
It’s not clear why positive thinking works so well, but it seems to work regardless of other factors. In the above study, the effect of a positive outlook was independent of demographic and medical control variables. It was also independent of depression, neuroticism, or self-esteem. The authors of the study concluded that having good expectations may actually promote better recovery.
Of course, thinking positively is hard when you’re in pain. The following strategies won’t make it easy, but they can get you on the right track.
1. Actively replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
2. Think of your injury as an opportunity.
3. Join a support group for people with your injury that promotes positive thinking.
But, be sure to find a support group that actively promotes positive thinking. Many people who attend these support groups may be recently injured or severely injured. A few may be reaching out for help because their injury has made them depressed, anxious, or even suicidal. You should find a support group that guides and moderates members. Hearing horror stories all the time won’t make you feel optimistic.
Be sure you don’t complain non-stop, either. Be honest about your troubles, but also talk about the progress you’ve made in recovering. Focusing on supporting other members can take your mind off your own injury.
4. Keep a diary about your injury and recovery.
So, one way you can benefit from your diary is by writing about how you’ve suffered from your injury. But, don’t make this the only focus. Keep your diary optimistic by writing down positive milestones you’ve reached. When you hit a milestone, like getting through a day without pain medications, write it down. Seeing a record of your recovery will show how far you’ve come and help you stay positive.
On a very practical note, jotting down dates and details can also help your doctor keep tabs on your recovery.
Ashyia Hill is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey. When you've recovered, you can visit her blog to compare the best credit card for travel rewards. Remember, learning to think positively is a process, just like healing from your injury. It will take time and patience. Sometimes you’ll make great progress, while other times, your pain or your negative thoughts will flare up. But, if you stick to it, you will get better. The reward will be a healthier body and mind.