Do Your Best Under Stress!

Hello Everyone!

I apologize for not posting a blog last week. I was caught up in having two exams last Wednesday and just didn’t get the time to sit down and write. This weeks topic is relatable to everyone! Whether you are an athlete, just a student, or an employee at a job, there are always going to be stressors in your life. Am I right? Well, today I am going to give you two easy techniques that you can start applying in your life to make a stressful situation seem a little less stressful! These tips come out of a book that I am currently reading for my Abnormal Psychology class–we had to choose a self-help book and write a paper on what we have learned and how we can apply it in our lives–you can find the book at the end of my article in an attached picture in case you are curious to read more! 🙂

TIP ONE: THE CENTERING BREATH
This is a 15 second breathing pattern that is scientifically proven to help control heart rate. What is one of the first things that happens when you begin to feel pressured or stressed? Your heart probably starts to beat faster which then can lead to more anxious feelings, thus leading into a cascade of negative emotions. What is important to remember here is that this centering breath is not a normal deep inhalation–in order for the heart rate to actually slow down, the formula for this breath pattern must be followed correctly. The formula is 6-2-7: breath in for six seconds, hold for two seconds, and then exhale for seven seconds. Practice this a few times with a stopwatch to make sure that your body is feeling what it is like to use the exact seconds indicated. When pressure situations arise, it can be easy to count a little faster than an actual stopwatch, so make sure you are counting correctly. After taking this breath, your body will feel refreshed and will hopefully allow you to refocus on the task at hand with a clear mind. Start implementing this into your daily routines when you feel it’s necessary–the more you use this technique, the more natural it will start becoming and you will find your overall lifestyle a lot more relaxed.

TIP TWO: THE IDENTITY STATEMENT
This section in the book is all about improving self-image–the better self-image one has, the more successful that person is bound to become. Too often, we are focused on what we cannot do, or what isn’t going right, that we often don’t stop to see the positive things that are going great for us in life. Having a positive self-image is scientifically proven to create more control over actions, and increase ability in a person. Take a minute and write down two things: 1) What is your biggest strength that you posses? (This can be applied to any aspect of life) and 2) What do you ultimately hope to accomplish in your life/school/sport?

After writing these down, now put the two phrases together and you have now created your own identity statement. For example, my identity statement I use for softball is, “I am more prepared than my competition; I am a dominant All-American collegiate pitcher.”

This statement can be used anytime you start hearing negative thoughts running through your mind–say your identity statement to yourself to remind yourself of how great you really are. Repeating this statement will only improve your self image if you COMMIT to using it. When you do repeat it, believe it–if you say it with only half of your effort, you will only get half the results you should.

Like I mentioned above, these mental assets can be used with sport, jobs, school or any other area of your life that you would like to improve upon. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving their “mental game–” learn how to win against the battle of your mind.
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Have a great week!
Ashley 🙂

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