Balance Rumination

 

When we experience rejection and failure it is NATURAL to think about it. We are going to want to process it and as you have seen from my other principles I am a big fan of this. We need to process and we need to think. But what many of us experience post rejection and failure is actually rumination and THIS can be tough. 

What is rumination? Rumination is when our thinking becomes a bit more obsessive, persistent and repetitive. Generally rumination has a negative tone and it creates anxiety for us. For me, it evokes physiological symptoms like an increase in my heart rate and feeling on edge. Rumination can be exhausting. But what differentiates rumination from processing is that it’s not really processing. You’re getting stuck. I love this description from Elizabeth Scott PhD (2020)  “What distinguishes rumination from productive emotional processing or searching for solutions is that rumination doesn’t generate new ways of thinking, new...

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Process Your Emotions and Feelings

“If we don’t express our emotions, they pile up like a debt that will eventually come due.” 

-Marc Brackett, PHD

 

Feel all the Feels. 

 

We get clear on WHAT we’re feeling and we accept what we’re feeling but we have to actually do the feeling. 

Unfortunately this is where more often than not we have to sit with our emotions and discomfort and allow time to heal. So. Freaking. Hard. But I promise this is THE only way. 

 Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson is an incredible podcast that I highly recommend. In a recent episode on navigating failure they described how the sooner we attend to our feelings when we face failure and rejection the better. Why? Because this is what both the mind and the body need. In order to move through and “regulate” our emotions in an efficient way we have to honor them and give ourselves permission to feel however we are feeling. Easier said than done. 

One...

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Accept What Is. Notice Resistance.

The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.”

Gabor Mate

 

Accept vs Resist. 

 

Let’s start with Resistance to our experience. 

As Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer explain in their book The Mindful Self Compassion Workbook (2018)  “what we resist, persists.” 

What does it mean to resist our experience? We run from our emotions. We don’t like our experience. We deny our experience. We avoid, numb and block out what we actually feel. For me, resistance can look like trying to “rationally” or “logically” explain my way out of a feeling. Oftentimes I find myself adding more things than I can count to my schedule and running on “go go go” mode so that I don’t have TIME to stop and feel. I find myself avoiding being alone because when I am alone that means I actually have to be with myself and my feelings. I get irritated, I’m on edge and I find myself...

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Perrin Wellness and Performance. How did we get here and where are we going?

Hi I’m Emily and welcome to my blog! 

Over the last few months my client base has expanded and I have been on the road traveling quite a bit. I am fortunate enough to work with people, teams and athletes all over the country and as things have been expanding so have my conversations about how I got into this line of work. I thought it would be a great time to go a bit deeper into how I landed on this unique line of work and the formation of my business, Perrin Wellness and Performance. 

The truth is I grew up in and around sport. My Dad was a college basketball coach at the University of Virginia for the first 10 years of my life and has a PHD in Sport Psychology. Some of my earliest childhood memories are running around University Hall (which sadly no longer exists) at UVA and going to team practices. Even after leaving college basketball he has continued to work with some of the best athletes in the United States. His career has taken him across multiple...

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Redefining Resilient

By definition, resilient means: 

  1. A person / animal able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions (adj)
    1. Similar: strong, tough, hardy 
  2. Substance/Object able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed 
    1. Flexible, pliable, supple, elastic 

 

In sport specifically we take this to mean being tough, having grit and being persistent. All good things in order to play competitive sport. These are almost precursors for being able to make it at the elite level. However what I think has happened is that athletes often try to embody this same toughness, grit and strength off the field when navigating all that life throws at them. These qualities along with constantly finding a positive attitude or finding the good in every situation (even when tragedy strikes) is what makes us resilient. This is what gets us through tough stuff, right? 

Wrong. 

Being resilient is less about being tough and more about...

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What is Clinical Social Work?

As I finished yet another year of school this year and look towards my graduation in November of 2022, I thought it would be a good idea to write a piece about Clinical Social Work. 

Several questions and comments I get when I tell people that I am getting a Masters in Clinical Social Work are: 

“What is that?” 

“How does Social Work have anything to do with sport and athletes?” 

“So you’re going to take kids away?” 

“Why didn’t you just do Sport Psychology?” 

These are fair statements and mostly come from a place of simply not knowing. Clinical Social Work is a relatively new field compared to Psychology or even Counseling. There is a large misconception that Social Work is about taking children away from their families and helping the poor while making absolutely no money. 

This is far from the full truth. I believe that society and more specifically the news play a large role in why...

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Meditation. Where to Begin.

Meditation. 

Where to even begin! 

There are many ways to meditate and many different kinds of meditation. Deciphering where to start with a meditation practice can be difficult. 

I am a huge fan of keeping things simple when you are just getting started with a meditation practice. 

When I start working with athletes I encourage them to use what is called a Concentration meditation. This type of meditation helps us “train” our attention and focus.  When we are practicing a Concentration meditation we use an anchor, such as the feeling of the body or the feeling of the breath. This anchor is the focal point for our attention. The goal here is to notice when we get distracted and then simply return back to our anchor. 

I also encourage my athletes (or anyone who is just getting started with meditation) to start small. Try a Concentration meditation practice for 2-3 minutes. In many ways training the brain is just like training other parts of...

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Why Mindfulness for an Athlete?

{As seen on and written for https://soccergrlprobs.com }

 

As I continue to navigate through my line of work and teaching Elite Athletes about Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga, I do my best to take the time to explain WHY these practices are so important.  

My response usually starts with a quote: 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. 

In that space is our power to choose our response. 

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” 

– Viktor Frankl

I found this quote about 2 months after being released from inpatient psychiatric care. At that point, I had spent almost a full year living panic attack to panic attack. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t leave my house most days. I was at a complete loss for how I was supposed to continue to live my life. When I eventually landed in inpatient care I felt like I had truly hit my rock bottom. I weathered that storm and when I made it out alive I made a...

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Perfection. Fuel for the Inner Critic.

Perfect. The dictionary defines Perfect as being without fault or defect. Flawless. 

We live in a world where perfect is the expectation.

I spend most of my time working with collegiate and professional athletes. I also spend a lot of time having conversations with coaches about their teams and athletes. I spend a lot of time watching practice, lift, training, and games. I observe, I listen and I analyze. 

 The language we use in and around our sport is crucial. So is the language we do not use. Language is not just important for how we communicate with other people but it is incredibly important for how we speak to ourselves.  It is a constant dance of both internal and external messaging.

Is the word PERFECT always used or blatantly stated in and around our sport setting?  No. To be honest I don’t hear many players or coaches express needing things to be perfect. Most of the time its the opposite. “We can’t be perfect, I know I...

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Mental Health in the Elite Athlete Community

This isn’t a new subject by any means. We’re seeing more and more professional athletes speak up and go public with their various struggles.  College Athletic Departments are putting more structure and programming in place to address mental health for their student athletes.  I believe were making progress, but we as an elite athlete community have a long way to go.  

In the field of Clinical Social Work, one of our jobs is to research and address social problems. A social problem is an alleged situation or widespread issue that affects a significant number of people.  Over the last few months my work has been dedicated to researching and addressing the social problem of mental health within the elite athlete community. 

Remove competitive sport from the scenario and mental health in general continues to be a widespread issue within the United States.  We’re living in a time where stress and anxiety are at an all time high. A...

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