By Lindsey Jelinek, PT, DPT, CSCS
Getting Injured sucks, and it’s easy to angrily complain about it to anyone who will listen. But emerging research shows that your mental state actually plays a role in whether your’re at a higher risk for chronic injury – and how well you’ll recover.
A study completed in 2013, looked at athletes who had ACL reconstruction surgery and identified key psychological outlook factors such as mental readiness and sense of control. They were able to predict with 70% accuracy, those who would make a full comeback within a year based off of the athlete’s outlook and mental state in regards to the injury.
Another review of 11 studies found that emotions like fear and doubt prevented injured athletes from getting back to their sport, while those who were motivated and confident, despite performing worse than usual, were more likely to make a swift recovery.
I bet now you are wondering if it’s possible to change your mindset, and the good news is, it is! Having a resilience-boosting psychological skill set can improve physical and emotional well-being. Here are a few tips to incorporate into your recovery process to help improve your outlook:
- Tame stress: Incorporate deep-breathing exercises and meditation to help modulate your response to stress.
- Seek support: A positive social network, like a running group, acts as a buffer against stress.
- Rehab right: Acknowledge angst and frustrations by writing them down which can help you move on.
- Shift your end zone: Trade in your running goals for rehab-oriented ones that are objective and flexible.
- Change your self-talk: Imagine the reassuring words you’d offer an injured friend and imbue them on yourself.
If you need help in your rehabilitation process reach out to any of our qualified physical therapists! We’ll help with both the physical and mental barriers that come with all injuries. You can reach us at 310-540-5758!