It is appropriate to begin with this great reflection of the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, where he describes the importance of making a correct assessment and acceptance of the situation. Sometimes we tend to overvalue a situation negatively, so we turn a very simple and brief problem into a very tedious, complicated and complex one, which harms us and negatively influences our mental and physical health. The main thing is not to assign more relevance than it has to a specific situation. Given this small reflection, I add this other phrase of the philosopher.
What basically comes to say that, that it is not so much the problem or situation, but the mental representation that we make, which generates anxiety.
Assuming that sports injuries are normal and they will appear yes or yes in the life of any person who performs sports or physical activity on a regular basis. All athletes are exposed to them and we are going to injure ourselves throughout our sporting life, however there are a series of factors that favor the probability of suffering an injury. Knowing and trying to control these factors we can prevent some injuries, reduce their severity, decrease recovery time, enhance the rehabilitation program and encourage a return to training and competition. In this case we will talk about one of the most important factors throughout the injury process, stress.
We are no longer surprised to turn on the television, the radio or open a newspaper and find ourselves with the word stress,post-vacation stress, work stress, postpartum stress, sports stress and a long etcetera. We have become used to hearing this term and even introducing it into our daily vocabulary.
Lazarus (1984) defines stress as “a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is valued as overflowing or as something that exceeds their resources and endangers well-being”. In other words, it is a subjective assessment, where the demands of the environment exceed the resources at my disposal, so the situation is beyond my control. To understand the seriousness and great impact that stress has on society, I am going to present the data obtained in 2018 by the Official College of Psychologists (COP). They carried out a study with people between 18 and 64 years old, and concluded that out of every ten people, nine (96%) confirm that they have felt stress during the last year and four out of ten have also suffered it continuously (42,1%) . Which would mean confirming that around 12 and a half million Spaniards suffer stress every year and therefore constitutes a problem in today's society.
The presence of stress in an individual increases vulnerability to injury for several reasons:
Therefore, stress can in many different ways increase vulnerability to injury, so a early identification of the first symptoms of stress, to carry out a correct intervention early, so as to reduce the risk of injury, shorten the recovery period and return to training and competitions in the best possible way.
As already mentioned above, the very nature of physical activity and sport invites injuries to occur, then, as the saying goes "better safe than sorry". However, if we have been injured, the ideal is to take a positive perspective, seek a goal, be motivated and have a resilient mindset.
Y, What is a resilient athlete?We are currently bombarded by the term resilience, defined as the ability to adapt to extreme situations, very complicated situations, overcome, learn and emerge stronger from them. During the injury period we must acquire a resilient mentality, so that we take advantage of the time in rest to continue learning and training other relevant aspects in sports practice, the psychological aspects, and use the injury as a opportunity to continue growing as an athlete.
Therefore, as a conclusion we must take into account the importance of our mind in our physical health, specifically the stress in sports injuries. Knowing the importance it has, it is appropriate to know yourself correctly and to know how to identify the first symptoms of stress, so that you can begin to work on it to reduce the risk of injury, enhance our sports performance and promote our well-being.