Sunday, June 26, 2016

Post # 35,000: Psychology: “Thoughts That Win”; "Afformations: Change Your Life!"

“Thoughts That Win”
by Medical Express

“Back in high school, on the soccer field, poised to take a crucial penalty kick, "I always had a lot of thoughts going on in my head; I think most people do" says sports psychologist Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis. "I was setting the ball and planning my shot; I was the captain and never missed those types of shots; then I had that thought striking me that it was not going to be good. I knew I was going to miss," he recalls, "and I did miss." Even then, he could see that his mind had a big effect on his body. From these unhappy experiences evolved Hatzigeorgiadis' interest in the psychology of sport - the link between one's thoughts and performance, and specifically in "self-talk"— the mental strategy that aims to improve performance through the use of self-addressed cues (words or small phrases), which trigger appropriate responses and action, mostly by focusing attention and psyching-up.
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"We know this strategy works, and it works in sports," says Hatzigeorgiadis. But what makes it work better, and in what situations? To find out, Hatzigeorgiadis and his colleagues at the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Thessaly, Nikos Zourbanos, Evangelos Galanis, and Yiannis Theodorakis conducted a meta-analysis of 32 sport psychological studies on the subject with a total of 62 measured effects. Their findings will be published in an upcoming issue of "Perspectives on Psychological Science," a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
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As expected, the analysis revealed that self-talk improves sport performance. But the researchers teased out more - different self-talk cues work differently in different situations. For tasks requiring fine skills or for improving technique "instructional self-talk", such as a technical instruction ("elbow-up" which Hatzigeorgiadis coaches beginner freestyle swimmers to say) is more effective than 'motivational self-talk' (e.g., "give it all"), which seems to be more effective in tasks requiring strength or endurance, boosting confidence and psyching-up for competition. Thus, we should carefully design the self-talk athletes use according to needs.
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Some other findings are that self-talk has a greater effect on tasks involving fine skills (such as sinking a golf ball) rather than gross skills (e.g., cycling); probably because self-talk is a technique which mostly improves concentration. Self-talk is more effective for novel tasks rather than well-learned tasks; because it is easier to improve at the early steps of learning. Nevertheless, both beginners and experienced athletes can benefit, especially when they practice the self-talk technique.
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Most important, says Hatzigeorgiadis, is that athletes train to self-talk—they prepare their scripts and use them consistently in training under varying conditions to better prepare themselves for competition. The main goals behind self-talk—like other techniques such as visualization to "rehearse" a performance or meditation to improve focus and relaxation—are twofold, says Hatzigeorgiadis: "to enhance your potential; and to perform during competition in terms of your ability and not less." The meta-analysis can help sports psychologists and athletes refine their training. But the strategy has implications beyond the playing field. "The mind guides action. If we succeed in regulating our thoughts, then this will help our behavior," says Hatzigeorgiadis. "The goal of being prepared is to do the best you can do."
"Afformations: Change Your Life!"
by Noah St. John, Ph.D.

"Afformations are empowering questions (NOT “affirmations”) that immediately change your subconscious thought patterns from negative to positive. The staggering realization I made was that you create your reality in two ways: by the statements you say to yourself and others, and by the questions you ask yourself and others. Traditional success teachers have focused a great deal of energy telling you to change your statements; no one had fully realized, or shown how to harness, the awesome power of what happens when you change the questions.

Your mind has an Automatic Search Function, which means that when you ask yourself a question, your mind automatically begins to Search for an answer. (Psychologists have referred to this function of the human brain as the “embedded presupposition factor.”) Even as far back as Biblical times, we’ve been reminded, “You have not because you ask not,” and “Ask and you shall receive.” If you only change the statements you say without changing the questions you ask, you’re missing out on one of the easiest, yet most powerful ways to change your life that’s ever been discovered.

The 4 Steps to Create Afformations That Can Change Your Life:

Step 1: Ask yourself what you want. You’ve probably done this step before. In Step 1, you can use goals you’ve previously written, or start from scratch. You decide. Please note that traditional success literature stops right here! They told us to “set your goals”, and then say “affirmations” that attempt to convince your brain that you will have what you want… sometime. For example, in Step 1, you might decide that your goal is to be happy, healthy and wealthy (hard to imagine anyone NOT wanting those things). So, you would write: “I want to be happy, healthy and wealthy.” Now we go to the breakthrough step…

Step 2: Form a QUESTION that assumes that What You Want is already true. In Step 2, you ask a question that assumes that what you want is already so, has already happened, or is already true. This is the key to creating Afformations that can change your life. Your Life is a reflection of the unconscious assumptions you make about life and your relationship to it. If you could find a mechanism that could record your subconscious thought-seeds and play them back to you, they might sound something like this: “Why am I so broke? Why don’t I have enough? Why aren’t I more successful?”, and so forth. Well, a mechanism does exist that records and reflects your subconscious thought-seeds – that mechanism is called Your Life! This is the fastest, most effective way I’ve ever seen to immediately change the quality of your communication with the world inside of you the world outside of you. Using our example above, you would ask yourself, “Why am I so happy, healthy and wealthy?”

Step 3: Give yourself to the question. The point of Afformations does not lie in finding “the answer”, but in asking better questions. When you ask better questions, your mind will automatically focus on things you’ve probably never focused on before. When you do this, the results will amaze you. Let’s say you want to find a new restaurant in your city. You go to Google and type “restaurants” and the city you’re in. What you’re really doing is asking a question you don’t know the answer to, yet. It’s the same with Afformations. You do not need to know, for example, why you are rich. You do, however, need to ASK why you are rich. Why? Because asking that kind of empowering question automatically focuses your mind on what you HAVE vs. what you LACK. Once you ask a question of your mind, whether you know it or not, your mind automatically starts to Search for the answer without your conscious volition. Which brings us to the fourth essential step of The Afformations Method - the final one you MUST do if you want this method to work for you…

Step 4: Take new ACTIONS based on your new assumptions about life. You are, right now, making hundreds, perhaps thousands of unconscious assumptions about life and your relationship to it. These assumptions form the basis of how you go through life – positively or negatively, with confidence or shyness, from lack or from enough, from Love or from Fear. For instance, if you assume that life is for you, you will naturally take actions based on the belief that “things will work out for the best” – and your results will naturally follow. If you assume that life is against you, however, then your actions will be hesitant, based on fear and “why bother” – and your results will naturally follow.

The Afformation Method makes conscious and clear that which has, until now, been only subconscious and hidden. For example, a confident person will have an easier time in life, whether building relationships or building a business. Traditional teachers told us that we should “be confident”. But where does the behavior of confidence really come from? It comes from your hidden, subconscious assumptions about how life is going to treat you.

The point of The Afformation Method is not to find “the answer” to your questions. The point is to change what your mind automatically FOCUSES ON. Since you are now going to FORM positive questions that assume that what you want is already true, your mind has no choice but to find a way to make it so. Can you see how this process must, by definition, change your life? I know of no other method that can yield such dramatic results with so little effort. Using Afformations, you can take direct, conscious control of your subconscious thoughts – change the questions, change your results, and change your life.”

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