Tonight begins The World Series. Here in Massachusetts where I am based, there is much talk about the Red Sox. This morning on FOX News Boston, anchor Elizabeth Hopkins interviewed me for my psychotherapeutic expertise. During this fun segment ( in true spirit I wore my Red Sox hat) I shared my tips for the Red Sox players for how to stay in the zone/focused. I also provided tips for the fans- specifically, how to cope with World Series stress. Provided below you will find my tips documented, for your reading pleasure. I also invite you to watch the interview which aired LIVE, also below.
Tips For The Red Sox Players – How To Stay Focused
- Box Technique: Before the game, visual a box. Imagine you are putting all your worries and stresses from your life in this box. Also imagine all your stress about the game is going into the box. Once all your worries and stresses are in the box, visualize you are sealing the box and putting it on a shelf in a safe place. Tell yourself you will open the box and think about/process/pay attention to your stresses after the game. This technique allows the mind to free itself from worry, so as to focus on the game itself. When the mind knows one’s self will attend to the stresses at a specified different time, it allows one’s self to not think about the worries, as it knows the worries will receive attention at a later date. This way a person doesn’t have to obsess on one’s thoughts in the now which affects one’s focus on the game.
- Positive Statements: Providing one’s self with positive statements offers a self fulfilling prophecy. Just as filling one’s self with negative thoughts affects one’s performance. Positive self talk feels good emotionally and thus helps one’s focus, decision making skills, and physical strength. Pumping up one’s self with healthy mental nutrients is a natural energizer which provides for focus on the task at hand, rather than feeling down about the task at hand. Negative statements ultimately results in a negative outcome in terms of one’s performance.
- Enjoy The Experience: By having fun, relishing in the experience, truly enjoying the World Series experience allows one to feel good within. It is those happy natural highs, the happy pill I refer to as; ETE (Enjoy The Experience) helps one to remain in the zone and feeling pumped so as to achieve to one’s best ability. A person is able to be the best version of themselves when they are enjoying what they are doing.
Tips For The Fans – How To Cope With The Stress You Are Feeling About The World Series
- World Series: Relish in the fact that your favorite team has made it into the World Series. That in and of itself is an accomplishment and something to bathe in.
- Relish In The Positive: Enjoy the successful plays/moments as and when they occur. Chose not to obsess/worry/focus on the plays that are unsuccessful. Remember, you cannot change what has already happened, nor can you control what is out of your control. Thus, focus on and enjoy the positive moments throughout the game as it is happening and after each game is over. And remember, it is not over until it is over. Once the series is over, life is not so simply about the end outcome, life’s experience is about the journey, the process, the moments leading up to the end. Not the end itself.
- Recognize And Value The Relational Bonding Aspect: Value, take in, and have fun with the relationship bonding aspect of this event. Whoever you are watching the game with (e.g., spouse, children), enjoy sharing this experience and memory together. Regardless of what occurs on the ball field, this is special time together in the now with your family, friends.
- Reaction Matters: How you react to each play and each game overall affects how you feel emotionally. It is our reaction to life events that affects our mental health and wellness. Since the mind and body are connected- one’s emotional response affects one’s physical health and wellness too. If you have children, chose to be a good role model for your children. Chose to react in a healthy way that role models healthy reaction behavior.
- Perspective: Put the World Series in perspective. I know, it is THE World Series! Do remind yourself that in the grand scheme of mental and physical health and wellness this wonderful sport is about adding fun to your life, not creating stress.