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Life can and should be, a great thing, filled with excellent experiences, treasured moments with loved ones, a high degree of adventure, and all that other stuff that we love and cherish.
Unfortunately, however, life is also inevitably full of a good degree of hardship, misfortune, and discomfort.
One of the most disheartening, and least welcome events that can befall someone in their life, is to suffer a life-changing injury that significantly alters what they can do, and how.
Luckily, these days, you can often find justice when you have been injured by no fault of your own, thanks to personal injury lawyers who have helped thousands of victims. But, though this may go some way towards helping you to deal with the situation, it doesn’t address all the emotional and lifestyle based factors involved.
There is never going to be a straightforward template that anyone can follow in order to get back on track after a life-changing injury. But there are certainly assorted tips and bits of advice that can make a significant difference to many people.
Here are a few tips for getting your life back on track after a life-changing injury. Hopefully, if you’ve found yourself in this situation, they may do some good for you.
Adopt a “stoic” philosophy, and focus on what’s in your control, not what out of it
When people think of “stoicism” they often think of people who bottle their emotions up inside and show only a stern face to the outside world. But, this is not actually what the term originally meant, and it doesn’t convey the deeper aspects of stoic philosophy.
Stoic philosophy was originally developed in ancient Greece and Rome, and famous Stoics included the former slave Epictetus and the one-time Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius himself. The fact that both former slaves and emperors found something worthwhile in this philosophy speaks volumes.
At its core, the stoic philosophy is about focusing your attention only on maneuvering within the sphere that is actually in your control and taking a more “aloof” attitude to all the things that are outside of your control.
The Stoics believed that only your own thoughts and actions were ever truly in your control. So, that’s what they believed in focusing on.
In his book, “How to Be a Stoic”, Massimo Pigliucci records a couple of poignant examples of stoicism put into practice in the modern world.
One of these examples concerns a man who was paralyzed and spent many years resenting the everyday hardships he faced. When he embraced stoicism, however, he found peace.
One of the other examples focuses on the case of a US soldier who was taken captive during the Vietnam War and suffered years of torture. He, too, found the strength to endure thanks to the writings of Marcus Aurelius.
There’s always going to be a lot of stuff you can’t affect about the world around you, and some of the circumstances you find yourself in. This is often magnified if you’ve experienced a serious injury.
It’s important to remember, however, that by focusing on what you can’t change, you only set yourself up for frustration and heartbreak. Instead, always ask yourself “what can I do?” And then do it. Leave the rest aside.
Work on incrementally expanding your capabilities, and taking modest actions each day to move things in a more positive direction
Returning to a state of normality and positivity after a life-changing injury isn’t going to be an overnight affair in most cases.
Instead, peace and fulfillment will typically be found as a result of working on incrementally expanding your capabilities, and taking modest actions each day to move things in a more positive direction.
In his book, “The Brain That Changes Itself,” the neuroscientist Norman Doidge recounts several examples of people who had suffered quite serious brain traumas, but who were able nonetheless to retrain their brains, and regain a much higher degree of functionality than they ever thought possible.
The key? They kept continually looking for new ways to do things and pushed themselves outside their comfort zones at every opportunity.
Refocus on what’s most important to you in life, and seek solace in your loved ones
A terrible injury often brings things into stark perspective. Suddenly, the fairly trivial concerns that had seemed monumental to you in the past — office politics, for example – come to seem utterly irrelevant.
In order to get back on a good track after a serious injury, it’s important to refocus on what is most important to you in life.
Instead of allowing yourself to be disheartened by the potential loss of a job and the various difficulties which you may now need to face, take it as an opportunity to connect more strongly with your loved ones, and to live your life along more intentional and meaningful lines.