May
01

The Link between Performance & Gratitude

performance-toughness-grati“I think any football player is a guy that is able to one, be able to be humble and hungry off the field, but at the same time on the football field understand what they have to get done and be a little bit ferocious”— Ndamukong Suh

It’s far too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of highly competitive games, and to forget to take a moment or two every once in a while to give thanks for all we have achieved in our lives-and to those who helped us get there.

According to sports psychologists for football, gratitude is one of the key psychological attribute that magnifies your spirit and promotes well-being. In good times and bad, authentic appreciation creates perspective, literally stepping back from the distractions of the moment and affirming something more lasting than passing circumstance.

Being appreciative has powerful effects on your body.

Researchers have linked gratitude to lower blood pressure, fewer aches and pains, and improved immunity. It also develops your emotional resilience as well as football confidence.

Resilience is defined in football psychology as the capacity to cope with stress, traumatic events and adversity.

There has been a tremendous amount of research that has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.

Studies suggest that athletes with higher levels of gratitude experience lower rates of stress. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.

Much of your stressful thinking is automatic. By focusing solely on your negative experiences, you can spiral downward. By expressing gratitude, you give your mind a more positive target. You feel better; you feel less stress. This positive focus can create a positive sense of well-being. This can distract you from your worries and upsets.

Remember that it’s hard to think of two things at the same time. Feeling gratitude means you’re feeling less stress.

Fortunately, gratitude can be cultivated, and this can be accomplished in several ways. Writing down what you’re grateful for helps you focus on the positives in your life, and keeping a gratitude journal is recommended by many sports psychologists.

As your gratitude list grows, just looking at the list will often be enough to help you realize your life is pretty great. Start writing down one thing you are thankful for every day. This will help you start the next day with a mindset of thankfulness and abundance, rather than focusing on all the things you want to change in your life.

If you’re ready to learn how to train your brain to be more grateful, these strategies can help you. No matter what your life circumstances are, and how far from ideal your current situation may be, there is still truly a lot to be grateful for in each day.

Practice an attitude of gratitude, and you’ll be amazed how much more fulfilling your life is!

*Download the free mental game assessment and get started on Improving your Mental Game in Football

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