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Zesty Mojo: Regaining confidence after injury


Throw me a fricken’ bone here

One minute you’re switched on, smashing your personal best’s, setting new goals and challenges, getting faster and stronger and feeling like “one million dollars”. Then all of a sudden the universe f***’s with your plans. Something happens; injury, illness, crisis and your mojo takes a kick where it counts—Ouch baby.

We all have times when our confidence gets shaken and setbacks or injuries can leave your mojo broken, just when you need it the most. This past summer my waterski crash was a major blow to my mojo, but it was my mission to keep positive and focus on my recovery.

Danger’s my middle name

The odds are that if you play sports, you will become injured at some point. Rehabilitation can be a long and draining process, but the trick is to learn how to recover efficiently and effectively so you can get back into the game. A big advantage in sport and life is mental health, and your first step to gettin’ your mojo back.

Crikey, I’ve lost my mojo!

Feeling sorry for yourself is a fool’s errand. Don’t overreact; your life isn’t over. Acknowledge that setbacks can occur in all sports—and in life. Train yourself to frame negative experiences into positive ones.

When you feed the negative thoughts, you start to legitimize the worst case scenario. This catastrophizing increases stress and anxiety in your body, which doesn’t help recovery. Instead, focus on good things in your life, call a friend or take positive action such as eating well and hydrating.

Whoopty-doo toughness

Being injured is a chance to improve your mental fitness. Mental skills continue to help you in your life post-injury, so stay positive and be aware of negative thoughts. Tough times never last and things will get better, for every uptrack, there comes a rewarding descent.

Controlling your mental state takes practice. One of the ways that navy seals keep steady is a breathing technique known as box breathing. When navy seals are in a dangerous environment or overwhelmed, they breathe in for four seconds and breathe out steadily over the next four seconds. If done properly, it’s extremely effective in calming yourself down and pushing through hard times.

I’m going to take over the world

Goal setting is a proven method to enduring through tough times. According to Neuroscientists, Navy Seals who were able to pass training are the ones who set goals. Goal setting brings structure to chaos. The ability to reason and plan keeps the fear response in check, helping you relax and be in the moment.

Set very short term and very specific goals. For example, doing your physio exercises, getting rest and eating a healthy dinner. Through short term goals, you’re able to stay focused on the process instead of worrying. It’s about switching off the part of your brain that tells you to give up.

When faced with challenging situations don’t freeze and quit before you’ve begun. The solution is segmentation. Divide the problem into actionable chunks and slowly chip away. Avoid considering the whole. Keep goals short, stay focused and relaxed and adapt to the changing situation.

That’s groovy baby

Feeling gratitude when you’re in pain, having anxiety, and feeling down is tough. But studies show people who practice gratitude report fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, were more optimistic were more likely to make progress towards their goals.

Focus on what is good in your life; the friends and family you have, the fact that your injury couldv’e been worse, the strategy for your comeback, the happy puppy you have etc.—see the good.

I eat because I’m unhappy, I’m unhappy because I eat

Becoming a fat bastard is no way to get your mojo back.

Nutrition can play a powerful role in injury recovery, yet many people lapse into poor food choices and de-hydration when they’re laid up on the couch. Your body is built to heal from the inside out and eating recovery foods are crucial in the healing of injuries.

Consume healthy proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help heal wounds, repair tendons and mend bones more quickly. Eat anti-inflammatory and nutrient-packed foods like turmeric, ginger, dark leafy greens, fruits, raw organic nuts, extra-virgin olive oil.

Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, margarine, crackers, cookies, alcohol and excessive caffeine.

Don’t go a bit nutty

Don’t panic. Take your recovery one day at a time and celebrate small wins, you’ll have your mojo workin’ in no time!

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