The Running Physio

TRP's Running Blog

Injury management, nutrition, training and running tips.

PMA All Day

Most top athletes, regardless of their chosen sport, all share one thing in common - they are positive thinkers. Positive thinking is more than just being a happy, bubbly person - it’s vital for success.

When we think negatively, we narrow our mind and focus our thoughts. Our brains have been programmed to respond to negative thoughts by shutting off the outside world. Think back to a situation where you responded by thinking negatively; chances are that quite quickly you became stressed and overwhelmed, maybe even consumed by the situation. Now think of that same situation, but imagine that you approached it with a positive attitude or emotion. Instead of dread you felt inspired by the challenge. You would have had a broader sense of possibility because your mind was open to more options. In short, negative thinking makes our brains shut everything around us off, while positive thinking allows our brains to see more possibilities.

How does this translate to athleticism?

Imagine yourself in the start corral of a race. Maybe you’re even toeing the line. What are you feeling? Chances are your heart is beating fast, you're starting to sweat, you might even have butterflies in your stomach - your adrenaline is pumping. Are you able to stay present and focused, or is your mind focused on previous race errors, missed long runs or your finish time? If you're part of that latter group, the mental chatter can make it difficult to maintain perspective. Dr. Kristen Race, Ph. D., founder of Mindful Life says that “When our brains get caught up in thoughts from the past or thoughts of the future, it creates a stress response, and we can’t use the part of the brain that keeps us engaged in the moment,” Adding. “If we’re too stressed about performance, we can’t make good decisions and solve problems and stay composed.”

Stress is normal and actually good (good stress promotes creative thinking), but it's needs to be moderated. The easiest way to strengthen the mind body connection is by incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your training regimen.

A large part of performance is mental, this we know. Changing your overall mind-body mindset using visualization exercises, positive affirmations and really just thinking positively will have a positive effect on both your life, athletic performance and even injury treatment.

At TRP we are all about mindfulness! We approach treatment mindfully, stay positive and truly understand the value of a solid mind-body connection when treating both injury and performance. If you are looking to introduce meditation into your training try this breathing exercise mentioned in a previous post.

Our goal is always to have you performing at your best, both mentally and physically.

PMA all day!