While stress is a common issue for many people, its effects can be magnified for individuals with brain injuries. The life changes from brain injury can be stress-inducing and difficult to deal with. Symptoms of stress include:
1. Overwhelming, worried feelings
2. Heart racing
3. Nervous or anxious habits such as fidgeting
4. Muscles tightening
5. Unexplained irritability or bursts of anger
6. Sense of hopelessness or lack of positivity
Although life can get overwhelming after a brain injury, there are many ways to help manage stress. Consider these tips to help relieve stress following a brain injury:
- Participate in relaxing activities. Take a relaxing bath, listen to music, read a book or take a walk around the neighborhood.
- Your brain can be overwhelmed with sensory input. If you’re sensitive to light, wearing dark sunglasses will help you to avoid visual overload.
- Rediscover your hobbies. Dedicate a portion of each week to doing what you love. Painting, playing music, fishing, yoga and walking are just a few examples.
- Try breathing exercises when you begin to get overwhelmed or anxious.
- Before you start a busy day, make a list of your tasks at hand and cross them off as you complete them to make managing them easier.
- Take breaks when involved in a particularly challenging or overwhelming task.
- Consider starting yoga or meditation, which will help to relax you.
- Talk to a trusted family member or friend if you’re feeling stressed, sad or anxious, and don’t be afraid to seek professional help if necessary.
For more tips and facts about brain injury, visit www.biama.org today.