Sports Feelings is apparently what we all want to hear. The first thing the commentator asks the athlete after a race is what are your feelings at this moment?
It is ironic and well proven that feelings and sport don’t mix. Particularly difficult feelings. Top sports people are renowned for having cool mental states to cope with the pressure and to keep their performance ultimate. Once the race is won the athlete can release all the held back feelings, they might have had during the race.
We choose sport as a stage for entertainment because it emulates us. Our slow biological brains still work in fight and flight mode. Sport is the build up of tension then a release, a copy of fright, flight and survival. We can take part in this familiar process as athlete or spectator. Athletes even use the fight and flight reaction to improve performance.
Generally (with notable exceptions) sports people don’t have personalities which dwell on difficult feelings – quite like the rest of us. Administrators, Scientists, Medics and Corporate types are well suited to sport. These occupations are best performed with less difficult feelings. Outcome over feeling. A perfectionist streak helps. Sport is also a scientific endeavour, and it is never able to be done perfectly.
We are told that sport (and exercise) is good for us. Of course it is. The release of endorphin is a happy good feelings drug! Another explanation is that endorphins numb and cut us off from our difficult feelings. Happiness is to be numbed out.
And so does the age we live in. One of the outcomes is we have to be happy. The aim is to numb out away from difficult feelings. Eat, consume, bet, internet to numb out. Sport is a brilliant foil for numbing out. It is a big thumbs up of approval for happiness. People seek help for numbing out when the numbed out no longer works. Worn down by the difficulty of life and trauma.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2017
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique