Stroke Information What Is Stroke The Fear: Will it happen again? A very common question that arises after having a stroke is “will it happen again? Many of the stroke survivors we speak to talk of the crippling anxiety and worry that comes with having a stroke and often ask, “could I have another stroke and what if it is more severe next time?” Here are our top tips to deal with the fear of having another stroke.Know why you had the stroke in the first place.It is essential that you know the risk factors that contributed to your stroke (if there were any) so you can work towards reducing these risks. Speak to your doctor and health professionals about your risk factors. For example if you have atrial fibrillation, consider is it well managed, are you on the right medication and do you need any follow-up appointments to have it reviewed? If you have high blood pressure be aware of how you can manage it through diet, exercise, stress management and medication. See our video on the 5 simple lifestyle changes that could help with this. Speak to a professional.Simply speaking about your concern, worries and anxieties is proven to help reduce them. Sometimes all that is needed is a safe place to explore your fears and say them out loud to get them off your chest. That is why we set up our Peer-Mentoring Programme - to give stroke survivors an outlet to speak to someone about their worries. Not forgetting our other Activity/Support Groups which get like-minded people together. Practice stroke prevention.Read as much as you can on stroke prevention to educate yourself and your family, then practice it. We have an abundance of information in regards to stroke prevention here on our website. Eating a healthy diet, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day and limiting alcohol to no more than two standard drinks per day minimises your risk of stroke. Get help to stop smoking and speak to a nutritionist about your diet if you are overweight, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It is also important to look at your stress levels, and look to take steps to reduce this. Try mindfulness.Mindfulness exercises allow you to be able to reduce difficult, painful and even frightening thoughts, feelings and sensations such as fear of having another stroke. Mindfulness gives you back sense of control over your fears. By putting yourself in the present moment, you can achieve a greater sense of peace. Research suggests that mindfulness relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, improves memory and concentration and relationships. These techniques and more are explored in our Wellbeing Course, which is delivered by trained Wellbeing Practitioners and designed especially for Stroke Survivors and Carers.Seek perspective and don't catastrophise.Cognitive behavioural techniques are used by considering the worst-case scenario of a feared event. It encourages you to examine whether the effects of the event or worry have been magnified and considers whether your coping skills have been underestimated. There are many risks to life, it is useful to reflect if you're the type of person who tends to catastrophe situations so you can learn strategies to help you manage this.Prepare.Have a plan in place to increase your sense of security if you were to have another stroke. Ensure your family and friends know the FAST signs, which you can learn in our animation here, and other signs of stroke and know the location of your nearest stroke unit. Make sure you have a personal alarm or pendant alert if you live alone or always carry a phone. Having relatives phone to check on you regularly throughout the week can also reduce stress and anxiety around having a stroke while at home alone. Ensure you take your medication as prescribed and do your best to minimise your risk factors.Be kind to yourselfHaving a stroke is a traumatic event that ripples through your life, touching all close to you. It can take many months and sometimes years to fully accept that you have had a stroke and to come to terms with the potential challenges the stroke have left you with. Know that your emotional response to fearing another stroke is normal and very common. Acknowledge these emotions in a gentle way and ensure you seek help to manage these emotions. If you ever need someone to talk to about your fear of having another stroke, or want to find more out about our support services - then please call us on 01942 824888, and we will be happy to look at addressing your concerns and exploring our support to find what best suits you.