Stress and injuries

CATEGORY: , 09.04.18

Did you know that there is a relationship between your mental state and accidental injury? Dr. Richard Steadman well-known expert in knee surgery, explains that this is linked to the belief that every physical event is preceded by a  psychological event.


Steadman explained that when he would meet a new patient for the first time, he would ask a simple question: ‘What happened?’ Over the years, he began to notice that people were less apt to give him physical reasons for the accident and more likely to offer him psychological explanations for how they became injured.

He didn’t hear this type of explanation too often: ‘I was skiing along and hit a patch of ice that caused me to fall, and my leg bent backwards.’ Instead, his patients’ explanations were more often along these lines: ‘My wife and I were arguing because I wanted to hit the slopes and she wanted me to wait another 30 minutes for her to get ready. I told her I was going to make one quick run and then meet her in an hour. So I hurried up the mountain and flew down the hill to make sure I met her on time, and that’s when I fell awkwardly and heard a pop.’

The real reasons injuries happen

Some coaches, like Tubby Smith a former basketball coach at University of Georgia, would tell their teams something like ‘we are not going to get injured. We will do the things we need to do to prevent injury, and we will warm up before practice and do some exercises to keep us strong, but we will simply not get injured’.


Your mind can make you sick, and your mind can heal you.


The unconscious mind, or what you truly believe is true, determines what the body does and can do. The conscious mind can only sit, observe, think, and worry. If you are still a bit skeptic all of all this so-called psychobabble, consider the following: Dr. Daniel Amen, a well-known child and adult psychiatrist who has done extensive work in evaluating psychiatric and neurological patients with the help of brain imaging, say there is nothing more important to you health – and, ultimately, your life – than what you believe to be true. But the question remains: How can the mind override the body and the genetic makeup that we will inherit at birth? The answer is found in physics.

The role of physics

I’m sure you know bits and pieces of Pavlov’s dog theory of conditioning. In short, Pavlov was studying the digestion of dogs in laboratory. (Like Freud, he didn’t begin his career as a psychologist.). Every day, the dogs were fed, and every day, they heard the sound of a bell when their caretaker came through the door to feed them. The dogs learned to associate the sound of the bell with food. As soon as the heard the bell, they began to salivate in anticipation of food.


The takeaway from the research is that learning and behavioural changes can take place at an unconscious or unintentional level. Unconscious learning leads to unconscious behavioural changes, which in turn lead to the creation of unconscious habits. Most of the habitual behaviours we exhibit today were not acquired through a deliberate and intentional process. Even simple nervous habits like biting our nails or touching our faces when talking were brought about by unconscious beliefs that came from some unconscious lesson we learned along the way.


The good news is that it is always possible to develop new habits or change old, unconscious ones through the use of the conscious mind, which is deliberate and intentional. In fact, the primary difference between elite competitors and those who are not, it is that elite competitors make it their business to understand and manage their unconscious minds by mastering their conscious thoughts and behaviours. Simply put, they outperform others because they have trained themselves to believe, think and behave in optimal unison.


Most people don’t choose their habits.

Successful people bring conscious thinking to a mostly unconscious process.


PC Weronika Trojanowska



The content of this article comes from Dr.Stan Beecham’s book ‘Elie Minds. How winners think differently to create a competitive edge and maximize success’




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