Coping With Stress After A Sport Accident

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Coping With Stress After A Sport Accident
by Jane Thurnell-Read

Sport accidents can do more than cause physical injuries. A serious accident can make you nervous about going back to the sport you love. Maybe you overcome that fear, but your anxiety makes you clumsy and tense, so that you perform less well and enjoy it less too.

Here’s a simple self-help tip for just that situation. Try holding your frontal eminences. These are bumps on your forehead that many people hold instinctively when they're upset or anxious. For those of you who don't do this naturally, let me help you locate them. Feel up from the middle of your eyebrows going towards your hairline. Your forehead comes outwards before it curves back in towards the hairline. Hold your forehead at the points where it is furthest out - about 3cms (1.25 inches) above the middle of each eyebrow.

While you hold these points think about the accident, and think about your fear that it might happen again. Gradually you should find that the stress lessens.

If the thoughts/images are too overwhelming initially, imagine you are watching it on a TV - you can always switch it off if becomes too stressful - you're the one in charge. You can watch it in black and white if that feels easier too. Use it to defuse anything that you feel anxious, stressed, angry or fearful about.

You may want to do it several times covering different aspects of the problem. You can do them one after the other, or at different times, whichever feels best for you.

As you hold the points and think about/imagine the event, you will probably start to feel calmer - you may even find that you start to feel a little bored thinking about this scenario that previously stressed or upset you so much.

Why does it work? These particular points on the forehead, known as frontal eminences, are reflex points with connections to the central meridian (involved with the brain), the stomach meridian (and your stomach often churns when you're afraid), and the bladder meridian (trips to the loo/bathroom are often necessary when we're apprehensive).

I recently explained this self-help technique to Phill Horrockes, a business colleague - he's a keen mountain biker and had had a serious bike accident at 30 miles an hour and had broken his skull and collar bone. This is what he wrote to me later:

"I don't know how to thank you enough for the technique you described to me over the phone the other day, it helped me enormously!"

The following week he sent me this message:

"Your tip worked once again last night - went out (in the pitch black with my Light&Motion 'daylighter' light) and did some serious single-tracking and downhilling!!! I never thought I'd be doing that again - ever! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was brilliant!!!!!!!"

It may be hard to believe that something this simple could be effective in removing anxiety and stress, but try it and see.

Copyright 2005, Jane Thurnell-Read, owner of this web site.

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