Worry-less riding - Noreen Esposito EdD, PMHNP

Report
Worry-less riding:
Calming your
horse event anxiety
Noreen Esposito Ed.D., PMHNP-BC
www.noreenesposito.com
Presented at Eno Triangle Horsemasters (USPC)
February 9, 2012
Overview
• The best riders have “mental toughness”
• The what, why and how of emotions
• Understanding worry and anxiety
• A thinking rider’s thoughts
• Tricks and tips
• Mindfulness: a way of being
Mental toughness:
How the best excel under stress
• Mental toughness is:
• A characteristic that helps the best (elite) athletes to
succeed.
• “She has mental toughness”
• How athletes such as Olympic riders cope with the
stress and pressure of competition.
• It’s multidimensional (different components)
• Where does it come from?
• Inherited: 50% comes from genetics & biological
history
• Learned: 50%
Self belief
Emotional awareness
Resilience
Context intelligence
Mental
Toughness
Success mindset
Attentional control
Optimistic thinking
Handle a challenge
Today’s presentation
• Two key components of mental toughness,
both associated with managing anxiety are:
• Emotional awareness
• Attentional control
Emotions
That saber-tooth
tiger might eat
me!
• Emotions come from thoughts and bodily
sensations
Yikes...
I'm
scared
• Thoughts including interpretations, judgments
and beliefs influence our emotions and their
intensity
my heart
is
pounding
• Thoughts elicit physical responses
• Body sensations lead to thoughts
Emotions
• Emotions have physical characteristics :
Quick...where
can I hide from
that tiger?
• Crying (sadness & grief)
• Butterflies in stomach (anxiety)
• Physical urges (hugging when happy, running
when scared)
• Emotions lead to “motion”
• Emotion is thought & feeling & readiness to act
Emotional State
• An emotional state is a moment in time
• Like tides, emotions are temporary…come and go
• Last a few seconds to minutes
• Remembering that an emotion is temporary can make it more tolerable
“This will pass”
Emotions
Vary in intensity from
• One situation to another
• One person to another
• Some people experience emotions more
intensely than others
• Some people seem generally calm
• Some people heat up quickly and calm down
slowly
Emotional Trait
Emotional traits
On I-40
Primary Emotions
• Joy
• Surprise
• Love
• Fear
• Interest/Curiosity
• Disgust
• Sorrow
• Guilt/shame
• Anger
Secondary emotions
• In response to our primary emotions & subsequent
thoughts/feelings and judgments
Event
primary emotion:
anger
secondary
emotion: guilt
thought about
emotion: it's bad
to be angry
• 2ndary emotions are a complex pattern of learned
responses such as being
• Angry about being angry
• Angry about being sad
• Anxious about feeling fear
Vulnerability to emotion
Physical stresses that affect our basic human needs for food,
shelter, warmth and comfort can interfere with our ability to
regulate emotion:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Thirst, dehydration
Hunger, poor nutrition, junk food
Too much or too little sleep
Insufficient exercise
Pain, physical discomfort
Prolonged stress
Illness
Drugs/substances may have negative effects
• Too much caffeine
• Medications
• Substances like cigarette smoke, alcohol or other drugs
Vulnerability to emotions
• Thoughts and words can also make us more
vulnerable to emotions
• Judgments about ourselves and about others
• Negative self talk or stories we tell ourselves
• Invalidation: discounting our emotions,
thoughts and things we do.
Validation
• Invalidation… discounting our emotions,
thoughts and things we do.
• Invalidation: “there’s nothing to be anxious about,
you shouldn’t feel that way”
• Leads to secondary emotions…guilt, frustration
and social isolation
• Validation: “it makes sense that you might feel this
way”
• Leads to positive feelings of happinessy, a sense of
social connection and normalcy, allows the body to
relax
Painful Emotions:
Fear/Anxiety
• Fear:
• A present (in-the-moment) emotion
• Elicited by actual or potential danger, alarm or
apprehension of something specific
• Purpose is to prepare to do battle
• Ends when danger is over
• Anxiety
• A future-oriented emotional & physical response
• Elicited by an imagined future situation
• Continues until you convince yourself otherwise.
Anxiety
• Underlying emotion is fear
• Possibility of failure, danger or misfortune but not actual
or real threat
• Fear can be of external or internal
• Sometimes the fear is fear of the possibility of anxiety
• Physical symptoms:
•
•
•
•
•
Increased heart rate
Shortness of breath,
Sweaty, cold clammy hands
chest tightness,
dizzy
• Anxiety can be State (temporary) and/or Trait
Anxiety trait
• A trait: An enduring characteristic
• Anxiety trait: Responds to most
challenges or thoughts of challenge
with worry.
• Predominantly worrisome thoughts
about situations
Anxiety state and/or trait
What does this mean for our performance at horse
(and other life) events?
Someone who has:
• Low trait anxiety(Quarterhorse) + high state anxiety
(what if wolf appears horizon?) = peak performance
• High trait anxiety (Arabian) + high state anxiety
(what if piece of paper (or wolf) appears on horizon)
= difficult to impossible performance
Anxiety
Thus
• No physical arousal (no anxiety): inadequate performance
• Low level physical arousal: good for performance
• High level physical arousal: detrimental to performance
• If very high physical arousal, steep drop in performance,
reversed ONLY by reduction in physiological arousal
All anxiety is anticipatory
Mark Twain: “I’m an old man now. I’ve lived a long
and difficult life, filled with so many misfortunes,
most of which never happened.”
Horse shows do not
cause anxiety
It's our
thoughts about
a situation or
horse event
that causes
our anxiety
Chain of thoughts and emotions
Oh well, I
missed a
lesson
Stayed up
to clean
tack, slept
4 hours
last night
stop
worrying
what if my
horse
steps on
the dog?
everyone
else is
calm
I might fall
off
I'm worried
I could get
hurt
START HERE
woke up
tired
What if
they drop
the leash?
what's
wrong
with me?
Is he
going to
spook?
he hates
dogs
oh my,
there are
people
with a dog
I'm scared
what if the
show
doesn't go
well?...
my
muscles
are tight
got to
barn
time to load
horse into
trailer
I should
have
practiced
more
I can do
this!
I have
butterflies, I
feel a little
sick
worry
Did I bring
my boots?
Did I bring
the
Coggins ?
my horse
spooks
when its
windy
JUST
RELAX!
stop thinking
about every thing
and just RELAX!
he's going
to be hard
to handle
it's windy
Arrive at show
just do it
Oh no, it's windy
I Tack up
Does the
judge
understand
Arabians?
what if he
spooks?
Will I lose
points?
I don't
want to
fall off
He's going
to spook
it's
blowing
this way!
He sees it
he's
tossing his
head
He gets so tense, maybe
he's the wrong horse for
there's a
piece of
paper on
ground
we enter
the ring &
halt
It's almost
time
he's stiff,
why is he
stiff?
my
muscles
are tight
I'm
clutching
the reins
He's
looking at
everything
Practice
arena
Score 42 on
dressage test
he's tense
why doe
he do this
?
I'm afraid
RELAX!
NOW!!
come on,,,
pay attention
...
flex damn it!
That
transition
took too
long...
Damn! Went off-course
during the test,
how did that happen?
Why do I
even do
these
shows?
That lost
points
My score
is going to
suck
Focus!!
maybe it
will be
okay
I should just
give up these
competitions
I am
focused
© N Esposito, 2012
he's
paying
attention
he's
stepping
under
I just can't do
this
So what to do?
Where we are
• 2nd wave: Cognitive and behavioral approaches target an
athlete’s psychological and social characteristic .
• At this point there is very limited research that shows the
usefulness of these now standard interventions by themselves.
•
•
•
•
Goal setting
Imagery
Self talk
Arousal increase or reduction
• Psyching up
• Relaxation
• 3rd wave of interventions: A growing body of research on
indicates that the incorporating MINDFULNESS with C_B can
have a significant long term effects on anxiety.
Things to help worry/anxiety
• Worry time
•
•
Schedule 15-30 minutes/day.
Intentionally worry, just let worry run its course
• Things that don’t work
•
•
•
Trying to suppress worry
Reassure yourself or get assurance from others, won’t really help
Criticize yourself for worrying
• Relief from panic: Panic episodes that are disrupting your life deserve professional
consultation and are treatable. In the interim, these may help you through an attack:
At the earliest signs of panic:
•
•
•
•
Remind yourself these are harmless fight or flight symptoms
Unpleasant but normal
Unpleasant but you are safe
The 5 minute rule (adrenaline takes 5 minutes to be eliminated from you circulation, so it
takes 5 minutes for physical symptoms to lessen and leave)
•
Sit with the symptoms until they are gone
Other Techniques
• Progressive muscle relaxation:
• When: post competition
• What : progressive muscle relaxing
• Goal:,
• increase awareness of muscle tension
• decrease arousal post performance
• Enhances positive feelings and wellbeing
• May also work with difficulty sleeping night
before.
Techniques
• Cognitive restructuring
• When: pre performance & post
• What: reinterpret thoughts to develop different
interpretation of situation
• De-emphasize the importance of competition
• Reframe interpretations, for example in the
chain of thoughts, there are many cognitions
that can be interpreted differently
Techniques
• Imagery
• When: Pre competition, at least a week or more
• What: see next imagery slide
• Goal: increase familiarity with tasks & gives
positive feedback of imagined performance
Imagery routine
• Ability to imagine yourself successfully (or unsuccessfully)
completing a act.
• Pick skill to imagine.
• Do relaxation before visualization
• Make imagery as realistic as possible
• Smells, sounds,… all senses
• Bring skill into focus (ie test), view from your own eyes (be in
the experience).
• Try to feel the movement,, the connection between your
body and your horse”s
• Practice skill in real time
Managing emotions:
visualization
• Go over the test in your mind, play it like a video,
rewinding and replaying until it is the way you want it
to be.
• Visualize this excellent video in your mind every night
before going to sleep
• Imagine yourself smiling regardless of what happens.
Goal setting: SCAMP
• S: SPECIFIC: about your goals. How will you know if you met the goal?
• C: CONTROLLABLE: Make the goals challenging but within your control.
You can’t control how a judge will score, what the weather will be. You
can control your personal performance “I will hit all the marks in my
ride”
• A: ATTAINABLE: work on step-by-step goals so you build your
confidence and can actually succeed in meeting your goals.
• M: MEASUREABLEL Be able to check yes I did it, no I didn’t, perhaps
how well you did it on a scale of 1-10…. So you can see improvement
• P: PERSONAL AND PROGRESSIVE: Devise goals that will help YOU
progress based on where you now
Control what you can
• You can’t control weather, the mood of the
judge, your other competition but you can
control how you react to those things.
• Minimize vulnerabilities:
• Get sleep, eat well, check out competition, visit
show site ahead of time,
• Find a way to think positively about challenges
an adversity If it can’t be changed, accept it
and find something positive about it.
Social support
• Any of the 4 major categories
•
•
•
•
Emotional support
Esteem support
Informational support
Tangible support
• Perceived support helps people feel safer and
situations are less stressful. (knowing you are going to
a show with supportive friends)
• Received support
• Sometimes helpful if person wants it
• Sometimes increases stress if person is not ready for it.
Other Anxiety Treatments
• Medications
• Antidepressants
• Anti-anxiety
• CBT
• Long lasting effects (at least 10 years)
What to remember
about anxiety & worry
• Anxiety is the physical unpleasant
feeling interconnected with worry
thoughts
• Worry is a fear of uncertainty “what
if”
• Worry is always focused on the future
• Worry can’t persist if you are focused
on the present moment
worrywarts
Mindfulness
The goal is to experience reality as it is in the present
moment
Goal mindfulness
Increase
happiness
Reduce
suffering
Types of Mindfulness
• MBSR (Mindfulness based stress reduction Kabat-Zin)
• MBCT (COGNITIVE TX)
• MB-EAT eating awareness
• MBRP (relapse prevention :substance abuse recovery)
• DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy: Lenihan)
• ACT (Acceptance commitment therapy: Hayes)
• ABBT-GAD (accept based behavr tx for GAD)
Mindfulness
• Increases emotional awareness
• Helps decrease
• worry and ruminating
• distractibility
Mindfulness is being who are are, not who you
want to be
Mindfulness is being in the moment
Assumptions
• We are doing the very best in dealing with our
emotions
• We can get better and be more skillful in
dealing with emotions
• Learning emotion skills and behaviors is not
just at horse events, but in all areas of our
lives.
From Lenihan, 1993 DBT
Self belief
Emotional awareness
Resilience
Context intelligence
Mental
Toughness
Success mindset
Attentional control
Optimistic thinking
Handle a challenge
Resources
• Mindfulness can be learned at any age
• Examples of readings for children
• Mindfulness for children
• The mindful child (Grenland)
• Maclean & Maclean (Peaceful Piggy
Meditations).
Bibliography
•
Chang, C. H. (2009). Handbook of sports psychology. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
•
Gardner, F. L., & Moore, Z. E. (2006). Clinical sport psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
•
Gardner, F. L., & Moore, Z. E. (2007). The psychology of enhancing human performance : the
mindfulness-acceptance-commitment approach (MAC) : a practitioner's guide. New York: Springer
Pub.
•
Gucciardi, D., & Gordon, S. (2011). Mental toughness in sport : developments in theory and research.
Abingdon, Oxon: New York : Routlege.
•
Hamilton, A. J. (2011). Zen mind, zen horse : the science and spirituality of working with horses.
North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., LLC.
•
Hayes, S. C. (2011). Get out of your mind and into your life. Nwe York, NY: MJF Books.
•
Karageorghis, C. I., & Terry, P. C. (2011). Inside sport psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
•
Linehan, M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York:
Guilford Press.
Bibliography
•
Morris, T., Spittle, M., & Watt, A. P. (2005). Imagery in sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
•
Nicholls, A. R. (2009). Coping in sport : theory, methods, and related constructs. Hauppauge, N.Y.:
Nova Science Publishers.
•
Stevens, L. (2008). Group Resilience. Equestrian Life. Retrieved from Equestrian Life website:
http://www.equestrianlife.com.au/rider-skills/group-resilience
•
Savoie, J. (2003). It's not just about the ribbons : it's about enriching riding and life with innovative
tools and winning strategies. North Pomfret, Vt.: Trafalgar Square Pub.
•
Spradlin, S. E. (2003). Don't let your emotions run your life : how dialectical behavior therapy can
put you in control. Oakland, Calif.: New Harbinger.
•
Thatcher, J., Jones, M. V., & Lavallee, D. (2012). Coping and emotion in sport (2nd ed.). Abingdon,
Oxon ; New York: Routledge.
•
Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (5th ed.).
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

similar documents