In the last several weeks, the whole world has entered something of a standstill. The Coronavirus outbreak has brought social distancing and isolation upon everyone in an attempt to reduce transmission and promote individual health. The virus continues to pose a health threat, but the new lifestyle brought about from quarantine and isolation have introduced new challenges for everyone to face. Many people’s lives are changing, one group being athletes and performers. These talented people are starting to experience feelings of stress and mental discomfort because of canceled seasons and closed gyms. Imagine the plight of a high school lacrosse player who had eagerly anticipated playing in the senior season since they were a kid, only to have it canceled now.
The stress and pain resulting from these new circumstances cannot go unnoticed. The good news, however, is that researchers have found an incredibly effective process to deal with mental blocks that come from these negative feelings.
Check out the 3 steps below to overcome such stressful situations:
Once we have put a name or signifier to our feelings, we can begin to process them more easily. For instance, “I’m angry that I won’t be playing on the football team this year, it was going to be my showcase.”
Studies have shown that labeling feelings push the subconscious feelings from the Amygdala, which is the brain’s center for emotion, to the Prefrontal Cortex, which helps with logical calculations and decision making. Awareness of our emotions helps us to process and deal with it better.
Once feelings have been labeled, we need to take responsibility for them and embrace those emotions as our thoughts. Having strong feelings of any kind generally mean two things: the presence of conflict, or the confirmation of a deeply held value. For example, “I believe that hard work is essential for success.”
While it might feel good to try and push conflicting thoughts away, it is difficult to do so and it can aggravate the situation even further. Embracing these thoughts head-on allows us to address them better.
The final step is to use these thoughts and feelings for personal growth. Once we have accepted and embraced uncomfortable thoughts, we can recalibrate our perspective, reassess our goals, and work on new ways to accomplish them.
While our grief and negative feelings are valid, we must let them go to become better. Letting go helps us move back into our regular behavior of striving, learning, and achieving excellence.
Social connectedness can only happen when people get together in a community. This sense of belonging makes it easier for us to take on tough situations. Although face-to-face
interactions have been interrupted, plenty of other options are helping us to connect, such as phone, Skype, Zoom. Reach out to us at Havlick Consulting, where we guide athletes of various levels of proficiency with flexible and adaptable programs to deal with these uncertain times.