Smiling Through the Rough Days Until They’re Brighter

Feb 03, 2014
Tagged with: Smiling Through the Rough Days Until They're Brighter

After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you or your loved one can struggle to remain optimistic as you face an uncertain future and what most certainly seems to be an uphill battle. While it might be difficult to recognize the struggles and challenges victims of TBIs might face, please be be encouraged to know that you are not alone. There are support groups to assist as well as activities to engage in while dealing with a TBI.
Activities to Help with a TBI

Victims of a TBI can find a number of ways to help their recovery and possibly even accelerate it. One of the most important things that you can do to make your rough days brighter is to keep a positive outlook. You are not alone in your recovery. Others have faced the challenge of dealing with a TBI and have overcome the difficulties as they moved forward to lead a productive life.

You might wonder what are some of the suggestions of activities for dealing with cognitive function after a TBI, especially if you have suffered from memory loss. Several activities can help you increase your mental capacity, such as:

  • Listening to music
  • Working on games or puzzles
  • Exercising
  • Talking to a friend or family member and
  • Reading

Study on music, stress and anxiety-reduction

If you are looking for ways to improve your mental outlook, a recent study published in a 2013 CNN articles suggest that listening to music just might do the trick.1 Listening to music can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be common problems for those who suffer from TBI. The study looked at patients who were about to have operations. They were either to listen to music or take medication. Results indicated that those who listened to music suffered from less stress than those who took medications. Additional benefits of the music include cost-effectiveness, zero side effects and no harm to the body.

Games and Puzzles

Games and puzzles will exercise brain muscles and help improve cognitive ability. A variety of math and word games can help stimulate brain function. You can play an easy Sudoku puzzle with a family member either online or in print (if it’s easier to write down your answers). Scrabble, in either the junior or regular version, might prove to be an enjoyable way to spend time with loved ones while keeping your brain stimulated as well. Word searches and crosswords can help you see patterns, which strengthens connections in the brain. Puzzles will also help you look for similarities as you work on fine motor skills and putting the pieces together. Memory is another game that many of us played as young children. You can either play the old-school version or look for an app to play on your electronic device. Free or inexpensive game or puzzle apps might also benefit victims of TBIs. One advantage of apps is their portability and easy access on a smartphone or tablet whenever you have a few spare minutes.

Other Helpful Activities

Other helpful activities might include exercising, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk. Increased blood circulation help oxygen flow to every area of the body, including the brain. Talking and engaging in conversation can stimulate other areas of the brain that might be affected by an injury. In addition, a loved one can provide you with encouragement and emotional support to help keep you positive. If you are having a rough day, a cup of chai or your favorite beverage with a friend at your local coffee shop could be just the pick-me-up you need. You might not even need to talk about things that are bothering you. A change of pace and a friendly face might be enough to help improve your attitude. Reading can also help you use your brain and keep those cognitive functions active. Reading out loud will help you remember what you have read, especially if it is material you need to use later. If you are studying write down key points as you read which can also help with memory stimulation.

Connecting with Our Readers

At TryMunity, we want to know how you have kept or developed a positive attitude as you faced your TBI. Please share your story with us, and learn from others who post on our site. In this way, we can engage the power of community and encourage each other as we move toward recovery together.


What things have you all found to work as a great activity that is stress relieving and mind stimulating on the “bad days” for those suffering from TBI?

Author: Shelly Duell

  • bobl07

    HI Shelly! Great job on the TBI post. I liked the CNN reference. It’s great to know that Sudoku, scrabble or cross word puzzles can help give you a sharp mind. Thanks for the useful tips.