Posts Tagged ‘mental strength’

Coming Back to Barefooting After an Injury

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

I recently talked to or read about people in the barefooting sport that are coming back from injuries. I have found from breaking and training horses most of my life, if you’re involved in an activity which involves risk, you are going to have a few bumps, bruises and maybe some surgery along the way.

A Physical Therapist can help you regain function and physical strength to prepare you for the physical aspects of returning to the sport after an injury, but what about mentally? You may find you are apprehensive and lack confidence or maybe just afraid of being injured again. Where are these thoughts and feelings coming from?

When you suffer a traumatic experience with a sports related accident, the episode is imprinted on a primitive part of the brain concerned with self preservation and survival. After that if you’re trying to do the same activity which caused the injury, this part of your brain triggers the survival instinct to fight or flee. Your Nervous System becomes hypervigilant and you worry about everything: i.e. water, driver, boat, etc. This challenges your ability to focus. The body sends out a powerful mix of hormones and neurotransmitters to prepare for fight or flight. This is where all those crazy feelings are coming from.

Know you can gain control!

There are many strategies for a successful comeback. Here’s what works:

Learn breathing techniques, positive words, images, and relaxation exercises.

Eliminate negative thoughts when they creep in with positive thinking. You can do it!

Accept that you had a setback, move on and you will rebuild your confidence and your skills.

Get help from your coaches.

Believe this is a challenge you can tackle and you will succeed.

By: Carol Jackson