Anger really is one of the most detrimental emotions in life in general as well as when on the golf course. For someone who suffers from the grips of this emotion it is useful to have several different methods to fall back upon so as to stop anger from ruining your golf. The following is a short list of anger management tips which you may find useful.
1. Breathing – Your mind and body are intrinsically linked. Mind works on body, body works on mind. It’s impossible for your mind to be tense and your body relaxed and vice versa. By relaxing your breathing you will automatically relax your mind. Breathe through your abdomen, not your chest. Five deep breaths will do the trick.
2. Reach for that Hamlet – Remember the Hamlet cigar advert? Try it without a cigar for a healthy version – take a step back, sit under a tree and take a few deep breaths – that’ll relax you nicely. It’s not the nicotine which relaxes you (nicotine is a stimulant, after all); it’s the step back and the deep breath which does the trick.
3. Ping an elastic band – you’ve seen smokers doing this one. Wear an elastic band on your wrist and every time you get a thought or feeling you don’t want to have you ping the band hard so that it hurts you so much you can’t even feel angry!
4. Go to your happy place – Everyone can do this one. Remember the film “Happy Gilmore”?
5. Pre shot routine – Hopefully, you all have one of these. The reason for having a consistent pre-shot routine is to absorb your mind in the detail of the task at hand, and in so doing any other not-so-productive thoughts are displaced. If you thought it unnecessary to have a set routine, think again.
6. Post shot routine – De-Brief. I bet not many golfers have one of these. It’s an “OK that happened. Not what I wanted, but it did.” Then you visualize what you did want to happen and replace the memory immediately, so that next time you come across a similar situation you remember the perfect shot (not the duff one that you did hit). How can you feel angry when youre choosing to remember the perfect shot?
7. Think “smooth” – smooth movements. Angry people are tense and jerky. Consciously smooth out your walk, pretend youre gliding, floating along the fairway, and then its impossible to feel angry. Like I said before your mind and body are intrinsically linked.
8. Be in the “now” – you might think you are, but are your thoughts really on the present moment? A Stanford University study found that the average person has 60,000 thoughts a day, 59,500 of which are the same as the day before – indicating that it’s a really tiny percentage of time that people are really “in the now”. If you’re in the now, you can’t worry about past failures, you can’t worry about future outcomes; all you are doing is concentrating on the present and there’s nothing in the present that can really make you angry.
9. Dissociation – have you ever had that feeling that you’re there, but not there? Or maybe a feeling that you can almost float up onto the ceiling and look down at yourself? This is great on the golf course. Imagine how good you could feel, just drifting out of your body, floating up in the air and distancing yourself from all those unnecessary emotions? You could even float right on off to your happy place!
10. Where there’s a will, there’s a way – If you want to deal with things better you can; if you don’t want to you can’t.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis cds and hypnosis mp3 downloads.