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Recovering from injuries and the mental games we have to play

Planning physiotherapy

Getting back on track after a sports injury is one heck of a job. Most people who’ve had a serious injury or two admit to the whole process as one of the most difficult ones a person can face during his or her sports career. Interestingly enough, the biggest challenge, most of the time, isn’t your body, it’s your mind.

Your body will inevitably heal itself (extreme cases being excluded out of the conversation) given the proper time and method of healing. Your mind will not. Not in the same fashion it won’t. It is a different animal, so to say.

One of the toughest hurdles an individual has to overcome is actually a psychological one. Why? Because we’re humans. What we mean by humans is that we have this voice inside of our minds telling us “do this!” or “stop with that!”. Your mind doesn’t want the body to suffer again and that’s why it will try its damn best to stop you from making the same mistake twice. However, alongside our instinct or “gut feeling” we also have this thing called reason and if used correctly it can have a positive effect on your well-being. It can aid you in finding common ground with the voices telling you to quit. How is that achieved? Mostly through education, patience, and persistence.

After you’ve recovered, you will be tempted to go back to your fitness routine and continue with the old lifestyle which you liked and enjoyed. But will it be the same? Not at first, it won’t. Not to worry, we’re here to help with that.

Dealing with your inner voices

So why won’t you be able to be your previous self once you hit the gym again or go back to your training sessions? Simply put, you will start doubting yourself. Especially if it was your first injury that you’ve just been through. You will remember all the hardships you had to fight with just to get up on your feet again. Again, the voices are there.

Here’s a fact check for you – those voices never disappear. Rather, what happens is, you get used to them and you find a way to live with not being sure of all the possible outcomes that your workout carries with itself. Spooky at first, but as we’ve mentioned before, it takes some patience.

What exactly is there to be done by our good old pal Reason to fix our fragile mindset? Let’s explore.

Be realistic with yourself

Now this one might be a hard pill to swallow for your ego, but it has to go down the hatch. There is simply no more room for error once you’ve suffered a serious injury. You will need to set a goal for your future workouts. Think of the odds and weigh on what you can and cannot achieve during your training sessions. Don’t apply overaggressive strategies. Take reasonable risks.

Personal trainer helping fit woman in gym
Hopefully your training partner can dissuade you from the so called “ego lifting”!

Forget the “doomsday” scenario. Period.

Rather than thinking of everything that might go wrong and how you might end up with another injury, think of the stuff that might turn out great. Think of how great you will feel after your workout, how you will have a fun time with your buddies or anything else that brings positive feelings.

Remember, you’re a learner and you learn from your mistakes. Just because you’ve been clumsy once doesn’t imply that you can’t fix your mistakes. Correct your form if you’re working out at the gym, work on your fundamentals, ask around and see what you’re doing wrong. If you’re into sports try figuring out what lead to the injury. Anything that will skew the scale slightly towards the positive side helps a lot.

Go step by step

There are things that will facilitate your recovery phase and also calm you down. Working on what you can while you’re injured is one of them. Now, if you’ve suffered such a great injury that you can’t leave your bed, obviously, this trick won’t stick with you. However, if it’s a milder injury you sure can try this method.

Serious muscular man using exercise machine at gym
You might have to settle for isolation exercise during your recovery phase so get familiar with them!

Try developing yourself in the areas which your body can safely pursue. Depending on the injury, you can stay relatively active and therefore maintain a certain level of fitness. Staying active will lead you to believe your recovery will pass sooner than it otherwise would. That is important because problem-solving begins with a positive attitude towards finding the solution.

Learn as much as you can

Educate yourself on the medical condition that you’ve had, ask your doctor about the all details, what you should look to avoid in the future… Talk with others who’ve had the same problem and ask how they fought their way out. The more you find out about what has caused you harm the better. You will find your way out quicker, but most importantly, you will learn how not to put yourself in jeopardy again.

Doctor with a patient in physiotherapy clinic
Your therapist can provide guidance, make sure to utilize every piece of advice.

Give yourself time

Sometimes there is simply nothing you can do about the injury. It simply takes time for the body to do its thing. Give it time if that’s what needed from your side. You have to realize that some injuries are like that. Just find a coping mechanism for it and be patient.

What you really shouldn’t do is be hard on yourself because of your unlucky position. Life is unpredictable and as of yet, there is no time machine you could use to go back in time and do things right. Therefore, forget about remorse and stick to that what you can change – the present.

Last thing

The last thing you need to remember from this article is that there is no sport without injury, no success without failure. You will fall, and if you strive to be great then you will fall more than you could ever have imagined in your wildest dreams. Do not let injuries and a weak mindset keep you down from achieving whatever it is you desire to accomplish with your body.

Thank you, reader.

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Confidence | Motivation | Mindset

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