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What we think to be true, we ultimately become. So what does this have to do with recovery? And why on earth is a PHYSICAL therapist talking about this? And most important, why should this matter to you? Well, the answer is simple. Physical recovery is intimately related to what we believe and what where we focus our thoughts. You can sabotage your recovery simply by what you believe or the things you repeatedly tell yourself. The positive side is that by changing your inner voice or by adopting a new mindset you will significantly improve your body’s ability to recover. Are you the reason you are not maximizing your potential? You are, if you are feeding your mind with destructive thoughts. And even worse if you frequently speak the negative thoughts. Lets break this down and identify the most common thoughts that are destructive to your body’s ability to recovery.

1. “I can’t walk because of my (brain injury, stroke, or neurologic diagnosis), Or “I can’t move my arm because of my (again, fill in with YOUR diagnosis)”

Although this may be true, focusing on this and even worse, speaking this can create a MAJOR road block in your recovery. Remember, when recovering from a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury the goal is to reconnect parts of your brain with the body parts it is responsible for controlling. This is also true if you are in a rehabilitation program to regain movement that was lost due to MS, Parkinson Disease, ALS….etc.  So if you frequently tell yourself these destructive statements, you are basically telling your brain not to connect with these areas of your body

2. “I just want to be (working, running, driving…etc) like I did before my (stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury) or before I was diagnosed with my condition.

If you are at this stage, I understand how you feel and can only imagine what it must feel like to lose your independence. But let’s remember, you ultimately want to get your independence back. So although this is a very legitimate feeling to have, it is NOT helpful to dwell on this. If you really want to maximize your therapy and your recovery, it is extremely important to understand you must first go through the grieving process and come to a place where you accept where you are at, to really take hold of your recovery and get back to where you want to be.