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Play This One Game Every day To Help Speed Up Recovery From A Stroke

Play This One Game Every day To Help Speed Up Recovery From A Stroke

Have you or anybody in your family suffered a stroke? Then you would know how recovery from a stroke can be an uphill battle, marred with frustration and anxiety on the patient’s part and helplessness on others.

But there is always hope. Recovery from stroke is literally a lifelong process, but there is this one game you can play, that could really become a valuable aid in making you as mentally and physically fit as it possible.

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What is a stroke?

By definition, a brain or cerebral stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, and when the brain does not receive oxygen that the blood supplies, brain cells begin to die. A stroke affects motor functions and muscle control and patients also often have memory loss, mental fogginess and sometimes pain or tingling in the affected parts of the body.

Is recovery from a stroke possible?

Recovery from a stroke is a long process, but a possible one. Within weeks of a stroke, the brain begins to regenerate the dead or damaged cells – making new brain cells (neurons) as well as new blood vessels to connect to them.

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What can we do to fasten recovery from stroke?

You can play chess. It sounds flippant—it is anything but. Chess is a game long revered for mental strategy that is proven to have long term benefits on memory, IQ as well as reading. It enhances problem-solving skills, creativity, patience as well as planning and ends up exercising both the sides of the brain thereby increasing mental acuity.

How can chess help in physical recovery from a stroke?

When you play chess, you need to move the pieces around in a multidirectional but precision format. There’s a wide range of movement – forward, backward, diagonally forward or backward and of course, sideways. Hover each movement is precise in its range – the piece has to move according to the rules of the chess, and a set number of squares only; be it to play, defend or attack. This precision movement helps in regaining vital motor skills needed to live an independent life. There’s so much that our hands and arms do and when you lose part of this movement after a stroke, chess can help in this physical part of recovery from stroke.

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How can chess help in mental recovery from stroke?

When you play chess, you use both the hemispheres of the brain for chess marries logic with creativity in a power-packed mental game of skills. There’s a considerable mental effort required to play the game.

  • Memory improvement: You use your memory to remember how which piece moves, attacks or defends and this metal exercise helps you recover lost memories and help in further retention.
  • Mental clarity: Your strategy keeps changing and you have to think and rethink new moves the way your opponent continuously does too. You need to give full concentration to the game, else its checkmate for you. This mental exercise can improve communicative as well as cognitive abilities.
  • A state of calm: Chess is also a sort of a meditation – when you play chess, your concentration shrinks to just that board – this single-mindedness in a game that as fast or as slow as you want it to be, helps you in achieving a zen-like state of mind.
  • A happier state of mind: Win a game or lose one, chess is rather invigorating when played well. It may not have the same effect as physical exercise, but playing a game of chess can flush the system with adrenaline and make a depressed stroke victim feel so much better.

Remember that chess makes one cheerful for even if one loses a game, there’s always the next one to look forward to. There’s nothing like some good competition to revive the brain and the soul. And by doing that, chess inculcates hope and a new lease of life in a person bogged down by recovery from stroke.

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Featured photo credit: Deviantart via img04.deviantart.net

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Rima Pundir

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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