Maximize Performance Through Controlling Your Arousal Level

How To Increase Arousal Levels For Sport?

Arousal is a state of heightened physical and mental alertness. It occurs when your body releases endorphins which are naturally produced during exercise or other stressful situations. These chemicals make you feel good and give you energy to continue exercising or performing tasks that require concentration such as driving, working, etc. When these chemicals are released they have been shown to boost mood and increase motivation. They also provide a sense of well being and calmness.

In order to increase arousal levels for sport, it is necessary to perform activities that involve high intensity activity. Activities like running, jumping rope, swimming, cycling and so forth. High intensity activities stimulate the central nervous system (CNS) and cause your body to release adrenaline into your blood stream. Adrenaline increases heart rate and breathing rates and causes the brain to become more active as well as increasing muscle tension.

All of these factors contribute towards raising your arousal level for sport.

Another great way to increase arousal levels for sport is to use visualization and imagery. The mind and body are closely linked. By learning to control your arousal, you can actually change the way your body responds to arousal. Through practice and training, you can learn to control the adrenaline response in your body.

By imagining yourself in stressful situation, you can prepare yourself for real life performance.

When practicing mental imagery or visualization techniques try the following:

Relax all your muscles.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Controlling emotions in sport by MV Jones – The sport psychologist, 2003 –

Dopaminergic modulation of arousal in Drosophila by R Andretic, B van Swinderen, RJ Greenspan – Current Biology, 2005 – Elsevier

Enhancing athletic performance through imagery: an overview by JJ Janssen, AA Sheikh – … in sports and physical performance …, 1994 –

The impact of music and imagery on physical performance and arousal: Studies of coordination and endurance by L Dorney, EKM Goh, C Lee – Journal of Sport Behavior, 1992 –

Cognitive enhancement with central thalamic electrical stimulation by P Shirvalkar, M Seth, ND Schiff… – Proceedings of the …, 2006 – National Acad Sciences

Salivary cortisol and cardiovascular activity during stress in oppositional-defiant disorder boys and normal controls by SHM Van Goozen, W Matthys, PT Cohen-Kettenis… – Biological …, 1998 – Elsevier

Selective attention and performance in dangerous environments by AD Baddeley – British journal of psychology, 1972 – Wiley Online Library