Shootouts: a heart breaker
In 1996 the Dutch were eliminated from the Soccer World Cup in a sudden death penalty shoot out. The effects of this stressful game were more than just some bitten nails, in fact research shows that for men in the Netherlands there was a 50% increase of risk of heart attack on that day!!
CBT: a heart meander
Now ^ you know stress, regardless of the source takes a toll on our bodies. But the question is, how can we manage this stress? A Swedish study took 400 people who had suffered a heart attack or bypass surgery and gave half the group the usual recovery care and half the usual care plus CBT. Now get this: the group that received the CBT had a 41% decrease in heart attack within the 7yr follow up!!
So what is this magical CBT? Put simply, it’s a change in ones thinking for the better. Cognitive Behavior Therapy teaches people practical techniques like relaxation, and ways to challenge negative thinking traps. All these skills are super useful in decreasing stress and increasing wellness. So next time your team is in a crunch, channel your inner Buddha, and take a few breaths or put that DVR to use pause the TV and journal about your anxiety for the game (you won’t regret missing that last minute goal to win the Cup not even a little)!
Check out this stress 101 video here!