What Comes to Your Mind and Body When the Pressure is On?
Some of the psychophysiological effects of stress and negative emotions are increased heart rate, disruption in respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and reduced brain function related to attention. The physical symptoms are muscle tension leading to reduced capacity of executing sports movements and elevated respiration rate, which causes the athlete to tire quickly. The mental symptoms are hesitation, poor judgment and concentration, easily distracted, exaggeration of the challenge, making excuses for failure even before performance, leading to a chain of negative thoughts that worsen anxiety. The behavioral signs are talking too fast or talking too much, trouble keeping still, and shaky through sports movements. If you recognize those symptoms during a sport-specific situation, mental training and biofeedback will help you become aware, modify thoughts and feelings elicited during competitions, and manage the emotional responses.