Coming Unglued? 4 Strategies for Managing Your Emotions After an Acquired Brain Injury
Acquired brain injuries can cause many issues that affect your day-to-day life. One of the symptoms that many patients experience after the injury is difficulty managing their emotions. Although each individual’s situation differs, the following strategies can be used to help maintain your emotional state.
Practice Meditation and Exercise
Activities that promote focus and mindfulness can help you find your emotional center and reach a state of balance. As you recover, try developing a habit of meditating for 10-15 minutes each day, or as long as you feel comfortable. The added awareness of your mental state can help you maintain clarity throughout the day, and give you a chance to calm down and decide how you actually feel.
When your physician says you are ready, you can also try adding exercise into your daily routine. Whether you take up swimming or engage in a favorite sport, the release of energy and the mindfulness required to excel may help you reach a more centered emotional state.
Keep a Structured Schedule
Regular daily habits can be essential to a feeling of normalcy and a low-stress lifestyle. With the injury and resulting recovery process, you may feel as if your daily life has been left in shambles. Throughout your recovery, work to add routine and rhythm back into your daily life. Having habits and structure will give you a self to return to during times of emotional crisis. You may even see this as an opportunity to develop new healthy habits that you were unable to before.
Listen to or Play Music
The field of music therapy is every growing and changing, but research is beginning to show that music can have powerful effects on cognitive function. Consider speaking to your team of specialists about the use of music in your recovery process.
On your own, try using music to experience and understand your emotions. Find a calming artist that you can listen to during times of stress, or look for a band that interests you and takes your mind off whatever is causing you emotional trouble. You may also enjoy playing an instrument if you know one, or learning an instrument if you don’t.
Seek Professional Help
If you consistently find yourself having emotional breakdowns after your injury, please remember that emotional instability can be a very real symptom, and may need medical treatment. Services like Simply Helping can provide therapy, in-home care, access to medical professionals, and even just an outside perspective to help you remember why you are feeling such intense emotions.
Greater motional balance is a goal that you can achieve over your recovery process. Be patient with yourself, spend time with those that care about you, and believe in your ability to recover.