6 Ways To Reduce Stress While Golfing

Have you experienced golfing? Most of the people think that golfing is a perfect stress reliever because of the beautiful scenery like having wide open spaces and it is very peaceful and quiet. Unfortunately, for some professional and passionate players, they could see it as something that would give them stress especially if they are in-game, and they cannot hit the goal or sometimes if they are with their friends and his friends are making fun of him because he is a player, yet he can’t still hit the goal. Yes, it could give you a lot of stress if ever that happens.

“Everyone handles positive and negative stress differently. And yes, for some, positive stress can lead to a negative response to stress, depending on the situation.” –Jessica Harris, LCPC, LPC

There are six tips in reducing stress while golfing.

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First, do some warm-up exercises. Warm-up exercise is very important when it comes to doing physical activities. Before being serious in playing, you should relieve all the bad swings in your system before stepping up the game. You need that for you to reduce some negativities before you play.

Second, putt. For your confidence to boost, you need this. Just try sinking 5-foot putts, and you are good. Just do it over and over again until you can already feel that you are good enough to play.

Third, have a positive mind. You need to be a positive thinker for you to feel better. Yes, it might be cliché, but it helps. A positive mind would bring you a positive outcome. Have you tried to bring positive? It brings out all the best in you, right?

Fourth, avoid yourself to be surrounded by negativities–the exact opposite of the third tip. If you are negative, this is where stress starts to take place. Negativities are like demons; they bring out the bad vibes in yourself. You easily doubt yourself, etc.

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Fifth, take a deep breath. We all know that stress is not just a mental aspect, but it is also a physical aspect. You need to breathe like inhale and exhale, even just for several seconds. Repeat several times until you can feel that you are in a better condition for you to focus and succeed.

Lastly, stay social. Golf is not just a game. There are also other people involved in this, which is why being sociable is very important. If you are not that friendly, then you could lead to some fights, and that would inevitably cause you some stress.

“Research tells us that this is a common experience for those under stress. That everyone experiences stress and up to a certain level it can be helpful. Yet, stress can negatively impact one’s normal daily functioning or health.”  Edna M. Esnil, PsyD said. Yes, stress is normal, but too much stress can lead to some serious problems; this is why it is essential to know the different tips in reducing it specifically in playing golf.

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For us to stay safe in doing some physical activities like golf, we need to follow these tips besides it is only for your good. Stress is not that easy to handle, but once you know how to handle it, then you would get used to it, and that’s it. These tips would help a lot. “Some stress is unavoidable but if you can keep perspective then it can be a whole lot easier.” Gretchen Flores, MA LPC LCPC said. There is no harm in following these since it is just straightforward, not only you will have a pleasant and fun game, but you are also going to be benefitted by winning.

Play Golf, For A Healthier You

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Golf is a very popular sport. It is played around the world. You do not need to be a top athlete to play it. Individuals of different ages and varying abilities can play it. Golf can be played individually, or it can be played in teams. It can be a competitive sport, or it can be a leisurely recreational activity.

The players use golf clubs (a variety of sticks that are tipped with iron or wood) to strike a golf ball, which is small and hard. The object of the game is to aim the golf ball into a series of holes. The number of times you strike the ball is counted, and the player with the lowest number of strokes wins.

It is played outdoors in a vast grassy playing area that can contain as little as nine holes and as many as eighteen holes. Unlike other ball games, the playing field used by golf is not standardized. The areas between the holes that the golf players encounter will vary and will contain differing hazards such as rocky areas, sand traps, and bodies of water. These hazards add difficulty to the game of golf.

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Benefits Of Playing Golf

Playing golf can benefit your health in general and your heart in particular. That is because “The more you are active, the more you decrease your risk for chronic diseases, including cancer.” Whittney Thoman, Senior Exercise Physiologist said. Golf requires you to walk an average of three to five kilometers. If you play an eighteen-hole game of golf three to five times per week, you will be giving your heart an adequate amount of cardiovascular exercise. If you do not hire a caddy or use a golf cart, you will be carrying or pulling a heavy bag of golf clubs. This will mean additional calories will be burned, and other health benefits for you. Regularly playing golf keeps you physically fit. It also improves endurance and muscle tone. And it helps you lower your body fat and lose weight.

“There are so many ways stress creeps into our lives, yet if we take control of our time and make proactive and healthy decisions, we can stop these negative cycles and truly take care of our mental health.” Sonja Seglin, LCPC said. Playing golf can also help in lowering stress. It provides a physical activity that relieves stress. And the pleasurable feeling you get while walking through Mother Nature helps ease the mind.

A game of golf can also have social benefits. It is an excellent way of meeting new people. And it is a great way of socializing with your family and friends.

How To Start Playing

A game of golf can be delightful. It can also be an excellent opportunity for socializing. Even while playing against other individuals, you can also play against yourself and try to get a better score.

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An excellent way to start playing golf is to hire a golf instructor to teach you the necessary skills before you start playing on a golf course. You and a group of your friends can also enjoy a few games of golf learning as you play.

Initially, you may want to rent golf clubs whenever you play. When you start improving, you may wish to purchase your own set of golf clubs. If you are really into playing golf, you might want to buy custom-made golf clubs.

How To Prevent Injuries

Golf is relatively leisurely compared to other sports and, as such, has a lower risk of injury. But it is still a sport and injuries may happen. Most common injuries occur to the eye, the head, the elbow, the wrist, and the lower back. These injuries may be caused by an exacerbation of a previous injury, striking the ground instead of striking the golf ball, using the incorrect technique and overuse.

“For starters, exercise releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good hormones,” that can calm the mind and relax the body.” Clinical psychologist Jenny C. Yip, PsyD said. And to avoid injuries, you should stretch and warm-up before a game of golf. It is advisable to hire an instructor to teach you the proper techniques as well as the etiquette and rules of playing golf. Stand well away from a player who is swinging a golf club. And use appropriate golf equipment.

What You Should Know Before You Play Golf

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Everybody will tell you that playing golf is fun. But they will not tell you about some things about golf. Here are some items that you should know before you play golf.

Fairways Are Not Created Equal.

Fairway is that part of the golf course that is located between the golf putting green and the tee box. The grass on the fairway is cut short enough so that shots off it is easier to hit. However, the grass on the fairway is not cut as short as the grass on the golf putting green.

The rules of golf do not require all fairways to be smooth, and they are not all the same. There are fairways that are undulating causing what you believe to a straight and perfect drive to ricochet into an area where making a recovery shot is tough.

Do Not Expect Golfers To Yell “Fore.”

Everybody, even people who do not play golf, knows that you are expected to shout the word “fore” to warn other golf players that a wayward golf ball is heading their way and is likely to hit them. It is supposed to be part of the proper etiquette of golf. Unfortunately, since the drive is wayward and embarrassingly unexpected, the golf player making the awkward shot is often caught by surprise. In their panic, they might fumble something incomprehensible, but they seldom have the presence of mind to shout the word “fore.”

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Low Irons Are Difficult To Hit.

Irons are types of golf clubs used to strike the golf ball towards the hole. They can be numbered from zero to twelve. The iron numbered one is called the driving iron, while irons numbered from two to four are called long irons. The driving iron and the long irons are tough to hit because they have tiny striking faces.

The driving iron is notoriously difficult to hit because it has the least surface area on its face. It is often said that if you are in a course and there is a thunderstorm coming, hold up a driving iron to evade lightning – even God can’t hit it.

Golf Courses And Driving Ranges Are Not The Same.

Driving ranges are areas where golf players can practice their golf swing. It is also a great place to relieve stress, and many amateur golf players use driving ranges as a recreational activity in itself. Of course, the primary purpose of driving ranges is to practice your golf swing in preparation for playing in an actual golf course. But in reality, do not expect your time in the driving range to matter much when you play on the golf course.

Do Not Dress Flamboyantly. 

You may be tempted to emulate the famous golf player William Payne Stewart and dress flamboyantly in patterned pants and ivy caps. If you have not won three major championships, then resist the temptation.

Do Not Aim For Style When Making Shots.

Stylish shots may make you look nice, but they do not always succeed in giving you high scores. Aim for flat and low shots. They may not look nice, but it is your score that matters most.

Golf Is Not Easy.

You might think golf is easy when you look at other golf players play golf. But in reality, it is not an easy game to play. It takes hours of practice or even years of playing it to master.

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It Is Exercise.

You will be walking at least eight kilometers while carrying on your back a heavy bag of fourteen metal clubs. Unless you hire a caddy to carry your golf bag for you or ride around the golf course in a golf cart, playing golf can be good exercise. But do not expect your non-golf-playing friends to believe you.

Your Games Can Get Worse.

If you are having a particularly bad day on the golf course, you might think your performance cannot go any lower. Unfortunately, that is not true. It can get worse.

You Can Still Have Fun Even If You’re Not Good At Golf.

Unlike most sports activities, golf is one game that you can have fun while playing it even though you are going to get the worst golf score in the history of the sport.

Do Professional Golf Players Need Psychologists?

One of the popular sports around the world is professional golf. Many people enjoy playing golf because of the benefits that they can get out of it. The said activity does not only make them athletic but can also be a moment of leisure and pleasure. Unfortunately, many golf players end up experiencing problems that affect the way they play the said sports. Because of this, they tend to have weak performance in competitions or end up getting into serious disagreements with their opponents. It is the reason why they must find expert psychologists who can help them deal with their issues so that they can resolve it and eventually play golf without stress.

 

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This article is addressed to all professional golf players out there who are struggling in their personal lives. We want to reach out to each and every one of you so that you will realize that there is a way out of your misery. Get back in shape once again by seeking professional help with someone who understands your situation and has something to say about it. Below are the top reasons why you, as a golf player, need a psychologist:

 

Helps You Process Your Emotions

 

Are you aware that one of the reasons why you are under a lot of stress or pressure is because you have no idea what is going on in your life? You are not emotionally stable because you are afraid to confront the circumstances surrounding you. Honestly, “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. said. Fortunately, with the help of a psychologist, you can get a chance to start processing your emotions so that you can know how to address them. An expert psychologist can provide you with a technique on how to do such a thing in the right manner. Once you get hold of your genuine emotions, you will start to feel liberated from the stress or anxiety.

 

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Encourages You To Move Forward

 

If you have recently experienced a traumatic event that made you lose interest in the things that you usually do, like golf, then talking to a psychologist can be the right solution. Sometimes, you have to find courage and be strong enough to move forward to better tomorrows even if you are in pain. The psychologist can help you to accept the traumatic experience that is preventing you from reaching your highest self-potential. As such, find a way to get in touch with an expert as soon as possible. Yes, “Exploring your past, present, and future experiences and mental health symptoms is challenging work and requires a huge dose of internal motivation, dedication, and courage.” Brie Shelly, MS, LMHC, RYT said. But do not keep on punishing yourself by lingering from the sad events of the past. Instead, focus on the present so that you can have the best future.

 

Makes You Set Your Goals

 

Through your regular meetings with the psychologist, you can also begin to realize that what you are feeling right now is only temporary. You will see that there are tons of things that you can do change your life for the better. As a result, you can make better goalsand objectives that will motivate you to keep going. These are the things that will guide you in the right path. Take note that determining the path can be challenging, especially if you have tons of doubts or questions about yourself. Because of this, you need to show a conscious effort in reaching out to a professional mental health expert. He will be the one to trigger a part of you that will ignite your passion in life.

 

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Listens To Everything You Say

 

Another great advantage of having a psychologist is that you get to have interesting conversations with the latter. There are even days when the psychologist will only say little words so that you can keep on talking. This characteristic of an expert is what you need the most, especially when you feel that no one in your life listens to what you say. There is nothing to worry about disclosing your information to the said professional. It must be noted that the relationship of a psychologist and his client or patient is considered highly confidential. Under the law, the former is not allowed to reveal any information about the latter. The failure to observe the privilege-communication rule can make the psychologist liable.

 

Now that you have seen the amazing things that a psychologist can do for you, be sure to contact one as soon as possible. Stop thinking about what other people might say once they find out that you are going to mental health treatment. Remember that what matters the most is your well being, which is why you have to do it sooner. “Focus on yourself and your own happiness and do not compare yourself to others.” A reminder from Marc Romano, PsyD.

 

Fitness-Tracking Watches That Your Therapist Will Not Frown Upon

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Being a therapist of a golfing enthusiast who has several mental health issues that comorbid with each other can never be easy. For one, the sport takes place in an uncontrolled environment, and he or she may not always be there to check on the patient. The sun, the stubborn golf ball, and even the caddy can affect the individual’s mood as well and make him, or her feel agitated. The more it happens, the more he or she may have to stay in therapy.

Now, considering you want to prove to your therapist that golfing is beneficial for your healing process, you need to show that you genuinely care for your health, physically and mentally speaking. That is something that you will not have to spell out often if you have a watch that can double as a fitness tracker.

Here are a few watches that you might want to get for this purpose.

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Garmin Fenix GPS Watch Fitness Tracker

Having a timepiece that can connect to various health tracking websites matters to a lot of individuals. Luckily, Garmin Fenix lets you do that without needing to attach it to a computer. Another thing it can perform is the automatic calibration of the barometer, compass, and altimeter that the numbers that will appear on the screen will always be updated. The watch has an impressive battery life too; with the GPS on continuously, it lasts for 1.5 days.

One reason why this timepiece is a must-have for golfers is the ease of use that it promises. As you perhaps already know, there are a lot of smartwatches that can keep track of your heart rate, steps, and everything else. However, many of the information that they gather have no way out of the device, so you have to try to avoid deleting at all costs. With the Garmin Fenix, nevertheless, you can effortlessly link it to apps that are supposed to track your health. Hence, if you like, you can give your therapist access to it so that they can monitor how you are doing in the field from time to time.

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Garmin Epix, TOPO U.S. 100K

The people who prefer to see the bigger picture in a good watch may go for Garmin Epix. Its ultimate feature is the topographical view of the United States at a 1:100,000 scale, which permits you to look at the surrounding locations at a wider angle. The 1.4-inch Chroma display within the timepiece has become touch-capacitive, so it’s effortless to swipe the screen to change or expand the maps, pre-loaded or not. The 8-GB memory installed in this top-rated watch comes handy if you wish to save info from BirdsEye Satellite Imagery and upload details from LiveTrack, Garmin Connect, etc.

Although Garmin Epix is mostly advertised as a hiking watch, we believe that it is an advantageous timepiece to have to avid golfers as well. It is especially ideal for folks who have the liberty to play in different golfing spots all over the U.S. Thanks to the advanced satellite imagery feature of the watch; you will be able to study the location before even getting there.

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Garmin Forerunner 230

In case you need a sports watch at the best price and has a wider screen than Forerunner 220, Garmin’s Forerunner 230 is a suitable choice under $200. Over 500 customer reviews have been dedicated to it, and most speak of this affordable timepiece’s good quality. You can pair it with your smartphone to receive calendar, call, and text alerts, connect to GPS, and even monitor your calories, steps, and distance. It fits the lifestyle of millennial women and men who like to stay physically active regardless of busy schedules.

An unspoken benefit of getting the Forerunner 230 is that you won’t need to fish out your smartphone when someone calls or texts you. In case you are in a huge and unfamiliar field, you can use the watch’s navigation system to know where to go next. Furthermore, it can give you an idea of how much calories you have burned by walking from one area to another.

Final Thoughts

Convincing anyone that you are better off playing golf than allowing a mental health professional to you into taking sleeping pills or antidepressants is no easy feat. In truth, there is probably no study that can claim that it is the best decision you can make for your mental well-being. Despite that, a reliable therapist will also respect your words if you say that you cannot let go of golfing ever. The best thing that you can do is get one of the smartwatches mentioned above so that you can monitor your health better.

Good luck!

Three Easy Ways To Control Anxiety In Golf

 

 

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One of the most common requirements for golf enthusiasts is controlling their anxiety. As a competitive golfer myself, I’ve learned three quick and easy ways that have worked for me and me as well. There are still several other equally effective methods, but most of them need more time and effort. Essentially, the secret to a good anxiety control technique can achieve cognitive control of the thoughts that cause anxiety. And the three ways that I’ve listed below effectively achieve this and alleviate mild to moderate anxiety.

Different Situations

A major circumstance that a golfer gets into can cause him to feel anxious. That is okay because as Kristine Tye, MA, LMFT once said “Anxiety is often used as a tool to help you push yourself to your limit of achievement. The downside is that there are often negative meanings attached, such as not being good enough or not valuing rest.” Usual situations may include a player’s first tee, or a shot that he thinks should get in the hole, like knee-knocking three putts.

Smile And Take Deep Breaths

“Smiling is good for physical and mental health. It causes a cascade of supportive chemicals to fill the human body.” says Yocheved Golani, a life coach. Honestly, This is very easy to do, yet quite difficult to begin doing while you’re on the range. But if you take this technique to heart and do it while you’re feeling anxious, you’ll realize that these two moves do help relax your mind and body. Don’t give in to the frustration as it will only make matters worse, thus, making it harder to calm down. When you force yourself to start smiling, things will feel less tense. Breathing, well, that needs a little explanation.

The simple breaths will do, but deep breaths are more effective. Relax first so that your stomach is soft and can move through inhalation. As you do this, the lungs can fully expand and then you’ll be able to pull in a long, deep breath. So ironically, your abdominal muscles are tight while you’re breathing to relax.

Focus On The Short-Term Process Goals

One of the reasons for feeling anxious on the game is that we think too much about aiming for the hole, thinking too much about a specific outcome, like driving in the center of the fairway. Don’t get me wrong – it’s perfectly natural to desire this kind of outcome, although I think what you’re doing here is overemphasizing an outcome, which often leads to anxiety. This is what you call an outcome goal.

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Process goals, on the other hand, enable you to focus on a single part of the game process. When you focus on, ‘keeping your eye on the ball’ or ‘stay in the moment,’ you are focusing on a process goal, something that is easier to achieve and does not cause too much anxiety that you can’t handle. “People with a healthy self-esteem tend to view failure as an event. People with low self-esteem often view failure as fatal. This thought process pummels one’s self-esteem and overtime being a failure becomes their identity.” That is what counselor Monte Drenner used to say.

Let’s talk about an awesome process goal – one that experts refer to as the confidence drill. It’s a practice that involves invoking confident emotions whenever you need to. Try this when you have a bout of anxiety in the middle of a game. Simply pretend that you are the coolest, most self-confident golfer of all time. Imagine a situation wherein you are winning a very challenging game. Slowly, you begin to feel and act as if you were that confident golfer. Stay confident as you imagine hitting your balls without focusing on an expected outcome. Just stay in the moment. It does feel great. When you need to be self-reliant on the range again, or when you’re feeling anxious or hesitant, practice the confidence drill again. Be confident and take that shot.

Think About The Opponent

Most golf players make themselves anxious in competitive circumstances. A four-foot putt is one circumstance that makes them most anxious. Instead of concentrating on how they can do a great stroke, they are nervous about doing a stroke that would be to the opponent’s advantage. Of course, they’ll think of themselves as unskilled if they miss this shot. But why not concentrate on your opponent for a change? Try the technique called focus flip.

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In the competition, there are difficult and easy shots. When the shot is easy, you want so much to get that shot but you are nevertheless anxious, and you feel that you are going to miss that putt. But think about it this way. Since the shot is quite easy, your opponent is surely nervous himself because he thinks you’re going to make that putt. That’s the focus flip, focusing on what the opponent might be thinking or feeling at that moment. Focus on their anxiety and project your anxiety on them. Get away from thinking about those butterflies in your stomach or the sweaty hands. Taking your mind off from your anxiety stops the negative thought patterns and eventually helps you relax and calm down. Then you can go on and do the confidence drill and get rid of that awful anxiety.

Final Thoughts

“The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.”  Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. said. Remember that with a little imagination, or perhaps with a practice buddy, these easy techniques can be done on the golf course or at home. I bet you’ll be less anxious and more confident in your game like I was!

 

 

 

Golf Can Help Relieve Stress

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According to the University of Maryland, moderate exercise help protect the people away from future anxiety and stress. Exercise can reduce existing anxiety and maintain it at lower levels. Moderate exercise is proven to be more effective than quiet rest and playing in the fresh air, and green spaces are also beneficial, such as playing golf.

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