Five Ways to Rise Above the Yips - Betty Streff
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Five Ways to Rise Above the Yips

Five Ways to Rise Above the Yips

“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” ~ Shannon L. Alder


A few days ago I read about someone who was nervous about speaking in public. Someone in her group reached out and told her she’d be fine once she got over the “yips.” I was surprised to see it used in that context because it’s an expression used primarily in sports, most often in baseball or golf. Oddly enough, no one really knows how the word came about.


An attack of the yips can make a super-star completely unable to do something that may have been easy and smooth in the past. Yips are mysterious, seem to appear from out of nowhere and are extremely difficult to overcome. A bad case has devastated the careers of many high performing athletes. Moreover, they are entirely mental and there is no drug known to cure them.


Yips? We just used to call them hang-ups


Or mental blocks. Or brain freezes. Weird and powerful, they can be paralyzing. Writers often sit down and stare at a blinking cursor, unable to compose a coherent thought. Whatever we call them, they are detrimental to our well-being. It takes effort, focus and patience to yank them out of our thinking like the brain weeds they are.


Toxic thoughts, the yips, are so much a part of the human condition that the subject has been explored exhaustively. There are many techniques used to eradicate this plague, but research reveals many common ideas that seem to pop up. Here are just a few.


5 Helpful hints for defrosting brain freeze

“If you want to solve a problem, stop participating in it.”~ Jonathan Mead


Change the channel. Think of your life as a movie or television program. We become what we think about most. Fixating on a problem makes it grow bigger and bigger in our mind. First, press the pause button, mute those thoughts and redirect your thinking to something completely unrelated for a while.


Blow off some steam. Go for a walk or do some hard physical work. Get sweaty or dirty and really focus on the task at hand. Exercise releases endorphins, some one of the natural feel-good chemicals that our brains produce. It’s true, physical exertion can be great medicine.


Take a hot bath or a cold shower. Either way, focus on our physical self can redirect and clean up our thinking. Great insights and creative solutions often happen in the shower. Lather up and give it a shot.


Get into nature. In His infinite wisdom, God put mankind in a garden. Shinrin-yoku means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980’s. It has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.


Ask for help. There is strong evidence that social connectivity is a high predictor of longevity, well-being and better health. Humans need community. Don’t forget, you don’t have to tackle it all on your own.


Yes, you can rise above the yips!

Our mind contains our problems but also solutions! It’s well worth the effort to spend time channeling your thoughts in a positive direction. Is this information helpful? I’d love to present my program “How to See Life with New Eyes” for your office or group. Let me hear from you! Email me a or leave a comment here!


Springs is coming, what a great time for a fresh start! See you Monday, have an amazing weekend!


1 Comment
  • Gail

    Walking in nature is my all time favourite for both gathering energy and finding balance. Thanks Betty!

    March 4, 2018 at 12:25 am
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