Mind Over Matter: A Positive Mindset Can Help You Heal Faster from Running Injuries
Suffering an injury is a double blow for many runners: to their body and to their ego. Recovering from an injury is both a physical and a mental process and, in many ways, a positive mindset can help the body heal faster. Although many people do not accept the fact that the way we visualise the healing process matters,
many doctors and physiotherapists agree that there is a strong relationship between the way athletes approach their recovery process from a mental point of view and the duration of the recovery.
In this article, we will be trying to teach you how to build a positive mindset and confront an injury in a realistic manner with a clear outlook on the future. We believe that most of the post-injury harm mostly comes from within, from negative thinking, bleak perspectives and scenarios built in the runner’s mind.
These are a few helpful tips to help you stay optimistic and heal faster:
- Stop Looking Back and Making Comparisons
As you are taking your first steps after surgery or after the removal of the cast, you are tempted to remember the days before your injury, when you were running effortlessly for miles. Stop making this kind of comparison, stop it right now! This will only lead to wallowing in self-pity and never getting back to your former level of fitness.
Even if the gravity of your injury will diminish your athletic performance, you are not a defeated person. You are still a survivor, a strong person who can make the most of the circumstances you have to face. However, given the advancements of medicine, you are most likely to recover completely and be able once again to run effortlessly for miles. For now, focus on the first post-injury steps and learn to build strength and endurance again.
- Learn Everything You Can about Your Injury
Ignorance is the source of our deepest fears. Not knowing what kind of injury you suffer from can make you create the worst case scenarios in your mind. With so many sources of reliable information online (and your own doctor who will be more than willing to explain), you should find out everything there is to know about your injury: how long it takes until it heals, what type of rehabilitation therapy you need to follow, how long until you are ready to go back to your regular training. Having this information and a clear timeline until recovery, you can focus on positive thoughts and planning for your comeback on the running track.
- Give Yourself a Pep Talk
As you move on from complete rest to physical therapy, keep encouraging yourself with small speeches and reaffirmation statements. Remind yourself that you are strong and you will get over this injury. Find motivation in every milestone you achieve in your therapy and keep telling yourself that you can and will succeed to overcome this injury and get back to your usual performance level. This daily pep talk will work wonders for your mindset and your motivation to push yourself forward, and it will help you stay on track with your physical therapy.
- Set Yourself Achievable Goals
If you want to keep a positive outlook on your recovery, you need to determine a list of milestones which you can actually achieve. Setting unrealistic goals for your recovery means setting yourself up for failure, disappointment and even depression. Serious injuries take time to recover and your muscles need time to regain their strength and flexibility.
Trying to push yourself too hard with extenuating exercises and training may even cause you to suffer another injury or reactivate the existing one.
This will mean more time away from training and a longer time to recover, sometimes incompletely.
The best way of healing your injury is to remind yourself that this is just another hurdle which you will get over. Keeping a positive mindset is just as important as benefitting from professional medical treatment for your running injury.