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How to Use Your Mind to Help You Heal Faster

Four big factors linked to good rehabilitation outcomes are motivation; an ability to engage with your rehab. Locus of control; feeling as if you have control over your healing. Self efficacy; the knowledge that you are a competent and capable person despite your limitations. And, self esteem; still having a high sense of self worth despite your injury.

This blog gives you eight mindset approaches to help boost each of these areas while you heal. If they are good enough for professional athletes and top business people then they are good enough for us.

The first area is Motivation. Your rehab is essential your recovery and the more motivated you are the better your outcomes will be. Here are two tips to get you actively participating in your recovery

MOTION

Famous pain scientists David Butler and Lorimer Mosely say: “motion is lotion”

Sit and notice how you are feeling. Now, (modifying your movement to accommodate your injury) - curl forward, arch back, bend from side to side and twist in each direction, circle your shoulders and circle your arms. This sequence of movements will have taken you less than a minute.

How do you feel now?

If I were to guess, I would say: better.

Moving lubricates the joint surfaces, flushes old fluid from the muscles, makes blood thinner, nourishes and awakens brain cells and pushes oxygen deep into the lungs. These are all good for healing.

Start by just aiming to do 1 minute of movement and you might find you do more. Or you might find that you do many increments of 1 minute throughout the day. One minute is better than nothing and usually leads to more.

ENJOY

if you enjoy your rehab you will do it more often than if it is a chore. The trick is figuring out how to make your rehab enjoyable. There are a few things that you can try.

The most obvious is to shape your rehab around your hobbies.

But if that doesn’t work you could structure your rehab around things you enjoy, you might do 5 squats before watching TV, if you get up for a cup of tea do 5 more squats.

You could visualise something that brings you joy and while doing your exercises and imbue your movement with that happy thought.

Perhaps you can make your movement more fun by incorporating your favourite music into your rehab?

And of course give yourself a reward each time you complete your exercises. Take time to breathe the fresh air, call a friend, have a celebratory cup of tea, or just give yourself a pat on the back. These techniques will help you link the idea of rehab with positive feelings and a sense of joy. We need to make your exercises much more appealing than yet another task on your to-do-list.