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5 Positive Steps Towards Regaining Your Life After A Personal Injury

5 Positive Steps Towards Regaining Your Life After A Personal Injury

Only those that have suffered through a major setback in life, like a personal injury, can understand how difficult it is to put the pieces of your life back together again. While it may be challenging to find the will when you’re incapacitated, you have the opportunity to overcome obstacles that in turn only makes you stronger. You may have to adapt by restricting yourself of certain activities but know that you can find passion in life again. There are people and methods that are there to help you. You just have to take the steps and never stop believing in yourself. It’s through perseverance regardless of circumstance that we truly understand our power.

1. Face and Accept What Happened

No matter what type of personal injury you have suffered, there is some level of acceptance you’ll want to reach to mentally heal from it. Don’t shut out the events no matter how painful. While the brain naturally tries to protect you from emotional pain and struggle, to move past the personal injury, you need to face it and make your peace. Don’t allow yourself to repress the feelings you have surrounding your injury. It’s only going to serve as an obstacle in your rehabilitation. Seek help if you need to but find a way to deal with what’s happened to you. This is essential for mental and physical recovery. Acceptance is the foundation for you to heal.

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2. Ask For Help

After a personal injury, you may have moments where you lose faith that you’ll get back on your feet. This is the time to round up your friends and family and ask for help. Researchers have found that support from loved ones and others in your position can rapidly increase psychological recovery. When life gets difficult, your bond with people tend to deepen. You feel supported and cared about. This prevents you from feeling negative about your situation which in turn accelerates your recovery time. You may be surprised at the depth people care for you. You also increase your chances of a full recovery.

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3. Explore New Horizons

Psychology Today speaks in length about posttraumatic growth. There are two roads you can take when you’ve dealt with a traumatic situation through personal injury. You can stop living or struggle with what your life once was, alternatively, the experience of trauma can lead you to a new direction. Finding a blessing amongst adversity is highly empowering. Your life may become even more meaningful and rich.

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4. Protect Yourself

A personal injury can result in losing valuable assets you’ve worked hard for. Initially, you may not think you’ll be incapacitated for long but healing can often take longer than you expect. Make sure you record details of the events as soon as possible. Depending on the situation, you may need to contact the police or maybe even a lawyer. Chicago personal injury lawyer John Borcia recommends getting legal representation immediately if you fear loss of wages. Dealing with emotional and physical pain shouldn’t be compounded by the stress of finances.

5. Practice Patience

Recovery after a personal injury can take time. Usually, more time than you’d like. There may be some things you can’t do for awhile in which case it’s time to seek out what you can do. Talk about what happened to those who will listen. Take the time to properly rehabilitate instead of rushing the process. Take it day by day and do what you can. Keep a positive frame of mind and focus on the end goal. Keeping track of the small goals towards rehabilitation will keep you motivated on your path to full recovery.

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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