On some level, we all know what stress feels like—a sense of panic, a pounding heart and quicker breath, a notion that we’re overwhelmed and just can’t handle it all.
But injured athletes might not realize the degree to which stress infiltrates deep within our bodies. The cascade of hormones that triggers our flight-or-fight response, if repeatedly activated, can have real and damaging effects on joints, bones, and other tissues, and impair the healing process. And of course, it unsettles our minds too, affecting our psychological recovery.
This week, Carrie talks in more depth about the perils of stress for injured athletes—and shares one concrete tool to begin neutralizing it. Using the Stress Busters exercise, you’ll think through some ways to ease the pressure ahead of time, then take steps to incorporate them into your schedule and lifestyle.
And, if you stick around to the end, you’ll hear a special announcement from Carrie and Cindy—news about the publication of our forthcoming book Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries. It’s out Oct. 15 from Bloomsbury Sport (a bit earlier if you’re in the U.K.) and you can pre-order it on Amazon or through the publisher now.
Rebound includes many of the concepts and tools we’ve talked about on this podcast, and lots more—a total of 49 mental drills to try, along with explanations of why they work and stories of athletes who’ve been there. With these resources, our goal is to not only help you recover from injury, but come back a stronger, more resilient athlete and person within your sport and outside it.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Why self-care goes out the window when we’re stressed—and the harms that can cause (1:50)
- Why athletes need to be deliberate and proactive about addressing stress (3:56)
- The ways in which we often needlessly spike our stress response, and how to stop (7:29)
- How being concrete and specific about what’s bothering us helps us let go of what isn’t truly a stressor, and get to work balancing out the challenges that remain (9:41)
- The difference between stress balancers and stress relievers, and why it’s important to build both into your life (12:45)
- How things like blowing bubbles, playing with cats, sitting on the deck with coffee, and creating art have real power in your recovery process (13:51)
- What Carrie does when she’s entering a time of high stress to prevent injury and illness (21:43)
- The power of actually writing stress relievers and stress balancers down on lists (24:52)
- How to start making a profound mindset shift from a framework of “stress management” to “living my values” (27:11)
- The ways in which these tools build you into a stronger, more well-rounded athlete who can better handle any obstacle (30:01)
This is our last episode of season 1; thank you so much for joining us! We’ll be back in September with season 2, and will have a whole new slate of athletes and others to interview, as well as more tools and techniques from Carrie’s practice. Subscribe, if you haven’t already, on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or a review in Apple podcasts. That helps other injured athletes find the show.
To access more resources for injured athletes:
- Join The Injured Athletes Club mailing list, for weekly news and updates
- Join The Injured Athletes Club Facebook group, for support and camaraderie
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, guest suggestions, or other feedback
DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational & informational use only and & does not constitute medical advice. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have heard in an episode of this podcast. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for proper evaluation & treatment. Guests who speak on this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions, and The Injured Athletes Club podcast hosts nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular treatment option discussed in the episodes of this podcast and are not responsible for any actions or inactions of listeners based on the information presented. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk.