Concussions can be scary. Aside from the physical side effects you experience, you may also have mental or emotional changes that can have a lasting impact on the brain. Some of those effects might manifest in the form of mood swings. Because your emotional state may still be fragile, crying after a concussion and being emotional after concussion are both a part of healing and learning to manage the symptoms. Here are some ways to try to stabilize your mood while recovering from your concussion and other symptoms.
1. Visit a Medical Professional
After thinking you might have a concussion, one of the first things you should do is go to the hospital. The medical professionals there will help ensure your stability and guide you on what to do as you recover from your concussion to prevent further damage. Some people may be afraid to visit the hospital for fear of knowing what the damage is, but getting the visit out of the way will help you understand the severity of your injury and how to prevent it from getting worse.
Doctors can also help you clear up any confusion surrounding a concussion, busting the myths that commonly float around that people hail as facts. Always turn to a medical professional when you’re unsure what to do next. They’ll be able to guide you in the right direction by examining your recovery process and seeing where you’re still struggling.
2. Build a Concussion Management Plan
A management plan for your concussion can help you feel more involved in your recovery process. Sometimes, people feel like they lose control when they are injured. Not knowing how to proceed can lead to stress, making someone’s mental state more fragile.
Having everything planned out — such as what to do, benchmarks to check for your health and other goals — might help you feel more motivated to recover and decrease your anxiety regarding the injury, which could help bolster your mood. The stages of concussion recovery are different for everyone, so everyone could have a different concussion management plan. Talk with your doctor to create one for your situation.
3. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been used to treat various conditions. It works by helping you change the patterns of your thoughts and behaviors while receiving the education you need to know about your specific ailment. Knowing more about what you’re up against helps you when you’re learning skills to target particular behaviors or thought patterns.
You might experience mood swings that feel too difficult to bear when you have a concussion. With CBT, you’ll learn the appropriate skills to help you deal with any strong emotions that may come your way. You can consider one of the stages of concussion recovery to be how you manage the symptoms. CBT can teach you how to manage your emotions and calm yourself down in difficult situations.
4. Stay Mindful
One of the best ways to keep your emotions in check is not to let your mind wander away from the present. Staying mindful is a great way to decrease anxiety in your life and it can remind you of what really matters, like spending quality time with the people you care about.
Since human brains are busier than ever with countless distractions to keep them occupied, it might be challenging to consider the present moment. Focusing on your breathing, concrete items and people around you might be an easy way to relieve crying after a concussion. Just try to remember that in the present moment, you are safe and should enjoy every opportunity to make the day bright.
5. Minimize Your Stress
It can be easier said than done, but learning how to minimize your stress can make you less likely to react to something in an emotional way. Stress can raise your cortisol levels, leading to consistently high blood sugar levels. Consider having a few relaxing activities in your back pocket for whenever you think you’re starting to feel the stress.
Activities like coloring pictures or following a deep breathing technique can help you relax. During your recovery time, you may also want to cut out anything that brings you stress that you don’t need to do. Extra activities on top of your job that require a lot of responsibility should be passed to someone else for the time being if they can. You need to focus on keeping your stress levels at a bare minimum, so your healing process will be that much better.
How to Manage Being Emotional After Concussion
Concussions can be difficult to manage, especially if you have no experience with them. While everyone’s situation will be unique, you might expect some crying after a concussion due to potential mood swings as your brain heals. The stages of concussion recovery can be rocky, but as long as you work toward a healthier, brighter future, you’ll find a way to manage your emotional symptoms well.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.