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Coping with the Mental Impact of a Sports Injury

The is undoubtedly many factors to take into consideration when it comes to the healing process following a sports injury, however one of the factors that we rarely consider is the mental side of healing. The psychological effect that an injury can have on a person and how their mental state effects the healing process.

Injuries in sport can cause people to react in many different ways, from anger and rage to sadness, denial and possibly even depression. A positive mind set definitely plays a part in the effective healing process, ensuring that the athlete is able to cope with the change of routine and channel energy into becoming more focused and resilient.

Coming to terms with the injury and learning as much about your injury as possible is the first step to recovery. The more you know about your injury, for example; cause, treatment, diagnosis, recovery and how to prevent it happening again, can all help to prevent feelings of anxiety towards the injury and feel a greater sense of control.

Accepting responsibility for your injury is an important next step, by accepting that you have sustained an injury and that it is up to you to control the outcome. By not dwelling on the situation you will feel a greater sense of control over it.

Now for the difficult bit. Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the recovery process is vital. This means; turning up for appointments, taking advice from health care professionals, and most of all doing your homework, they will know if you dong follow through on their recommendations. Banishing negative thoughts will help to keep your motivation and focus levels high and find positivity in the completion of your new routine. Research has shown that using certain mental skills and techniques can actually speed up the healing process.

During your recovery the best thing that you can do is surround yourself with people who motivate you and offer support. Friends, family, team mates or coaches, whoever offers you encouragement.

Taking your time and following the steps above can help you to overcome an injury without too much of an impact on your mental state. It is easy for athletes to end up feeling low and isolated following an injury, however, by setting realistic goals and remaining positive and focussed, athletes can heal much more efficiently.