Are you an active person? Do you wish you were more active or athletic? Does the effort put forth to become more active seem daunting to you? Would you like to sign up for an event or competition? Do you get nervous or overwhelmed thinking about being more active?
Why do some athletes rise to the occasion while other athletes fall apart under pressure?
It all comes down to how you think and perceive a situation. Do you view pressure as a threat or do you welcome the challenge?
How you perceive an event will impact how you approach it, which will impact your experience, perception and how you choose to respond.
Research of athletes during competition has determined that stress is a person’s thoughts and perceptions of an event. Physiological responses follow perceptions of stress as a threat and interfere with sport performance. Therefore, if you change your perceptions about a pressure situation to a new perspective, one where you welcome the challenge, you will change your experience and influence your performance outcomes.
If the nature of the competition triggers you into a fight, flight or freeze stress response, your body will tense up and mobilize a survival reaction rather than an ideal state for competition. Optimal sports performance occurs in a positive mindset and in the present moment, not when we are stressed, afraid or nervous. An attitude that welcomes the challenge of a pressure situation is a positive mind-set. Staying present in the moment means not thinking about the past or the future and keeping your thoughts in the present moment.
Did you know that lack of motivation generates a different type of stress? Many clients come into my practice because they’re not motivated to workout or sign up for competitions and they have the desire to be more active and fit. Learning to align your daily actions with your goals and desires will help you generate a satisfying life. When we are not aligned with our desires our actions are unfulfilling, we are also stressed because we are living incongruently.
What can you do to reduce your stress?
Develop a strategy to change your thoughts and perspective. If you desire to sign up for a competition or event, align your actions to your goals. In pressure filled situations, notice what thoughts pop up in your mind when you face these situations. Is there a different way to perceive the situation? Can you see it as a challenge to embrace? Can you gain perspective by asking if this will be as important to you in a year from now?
Learning tools and techniques to reduce your stress such as: deep breathing, music, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, and other stress reduction methods will benefit your ability to change your perspective.
Need help call coach Karen 520-955-9503, Karen@TrueFormCoaching.com, www.TrueFormCoaching.com
Mind Over Matter: You can think tour way to greater strength and success.
It is like having a magic genie at your disposal.
We have known for years that visualization is a proven method to enhance success. A new study recently published proves that visualization can also help maintain and rebuild muscle strength. This study confirms the powerful use of visualization for optimal sport performance and enhancing physiological development with the power of your mind.
Scientists discovered the nervous system plays an important role in the development of muscular strength. Researchers are still working to fully understand exactly how the nervous system interacts on the muscles to be a determinant of muscle strength or weakness.
Brian C. Clark and colleagues from Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI) at Ohio University conducted a recent study to discover what role the brain has in muscular strength development. One subject group underwent guided visualizations whereby participants were specifically instructed to imagine contracting an immobilized muscle (placed into a cast for 4 weeks), hold it for 5 seconds and then release it. They were told to imagine they were pushing their muscle contraction as hard as possible. This visualization was repeated four times in a row followed by a one-minute break for a total of 13 rounds per session and five sessions per week.
The other group with casts immobilizing the same muscle group performed no visualization exercises.
At the end of the four-week experiment, both groups who wore casts had lost strength in their immobilized limbs when compared to the control group without casts.
The amazing results showed that the group who performed mental imagery exercises lost 50% less strength than the non-imaginative group (24 percent vs. 45 percent, respectively).
The participants who used visualization also rebounded more quickly, upon having the cast removed, compared to the group which did not perform the mental imagery.
These findings suggest that when you activate your brain, in a specific manner, through the use of visualization, you can significantly impact the development of your body. You can rehabilitate an injury and gain muscular strength more rapidly than if you do not use visualization. The same goes for optimal sport performance, those athletes who visualize themselves performing their best, have been found to perform better than those athletes who do not use visualization.
Need help optimizing your sport performance, or recovering from an injury more quickly? Call coach Karen 520-955-9503. Email: Karen@trueformcoaching.com www.trueformcoaching.com
The full article "The power of the mind: the cortex as a critical determinant of muscle strength/weakness" is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology.