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Early Concussion Education

Strategy #5: Realistic Thinking

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If you can’t change what is causing you stress, try to change what you expect from yourself. You can adapt to stressful things when you take control in this way.

Stay Healthy
  • Reframe problems. Find the positive in a stressful situation. Rather than getting angry about a traffic jam, look at it as an chance to pause and regroup, listen to your favourite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
  • Look at the big picture. When you’re in a stressful situation, ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Remember that nobody is perfect. Know your limits and what you can realistically do while recovering. Trying to be perfect will stress you out. Set realistic and reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
  • Manage your time. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. Plan ahead and make sure you don’t try to do more than you can handle. Making to-do lists, and use a calendar, day timer, or your phone to schedule all appointments and tasks.
  • Focus on the positive. Take a moment to think about all the things you’re grateful for, including your own positive qualities and gifts.
  • Be kind to yourself. How you think is linked to how your body feels. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body gets stressed and tense. If you see good things about yourself, you’re more likely to feel good.
  • Stop using words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." Shift to more realistic and supportive ways of thinking, and accept the things you cannot change.​​​