Last month we reviewed how anxiety can effect running and walking performance. This month, I would like to review a technique that can help to reduce anxiety. The technique relates to what we think and how we behave.
There is a belief that thoughts and feelings occur before behavior. Before you act, you first have a thought (or thoughts) followed by feelings, followed by behavior. It continues to say that if you want to change how you feel and behave, you need to first change what you think. For example, if I think I will do poorly running or walking in a race and I feel tense, nervous, and scared the result may be that I decide not to participate in the race (avoidance behavior). However, if I change my thoughts and tell myself that I have been training hard and running/walking well, then I may feel more relaxed and decide to participate in the race. Therefore, if you want to change your behavior, first start with changing how you think. I know this sounds simple, but it is amazing what can result. If you want to learn more about this process, feel free to call me.
Next month we will talk about “mental journaling” as a tool used to help identify both positive and negative thoughts.
*Mark Jagos LMSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, sports performance counselor, and personal consultant who has participated in numerous marathons and local races and counsels athletes in mental training for sports and exercise. To schedule an appointment please call 810-624-7631.