Aug
26

The golf psychology of self hypnosis and imagination for winning happiness

By

I felt so sad watching Sergio Garcia looking so miserable and failing to close out a much needed win in the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro on Sunday. It reminds me of how important our internal state is to good golf psychology and how we can use self-hypnosis to manage and control our state of mind.

One of the fundamentals of modern psychology is the idea that whatever we consciously think about our unconscious mind does its best to deliver. This manifests itself in many ways and if we’re consciously looking at something, then pretty soon we find ourselves physically heading towards it.

Have you ever noticed, when you’re driving along in your car on a wide road, maybe a motorway or freeway, and you notice something interesting off in the distance to the right or left, that you suddenly find yourself unconsciously steering towards it? That happens on the golf course if you focus on something that you want to avoid, like a bunker or a water hazard? Have you noticed how you tend to unconsciously hit the ball directly at the thing you’re trying consciously to avoid?

Well, something similar happens if you’re not in the right state of mind when you do something that matters to you. If you’re in a good mood or state of mind when you’re playing golf, then you unconsciously tend to play positively, enjoy the game and probably score well. If, like Sergio on Sunday, you’re in a negative state of mind, then you unconsciously play negatively, get frustrated with your game and score badly. If you have natural talent, like Sergio, and if you really focus on a positive result, like he did with his amazing shot from the bunker on the last hole, you can still hit some good shots in the middle of a bad round.

So what can I do if I’m feeling in a negative state of mind, I hear you ask? Now that depends on why you’re in a negative state and addressing that question would be a good start. But what if I’m in a really bad state and I just can’t get out of it – I’m so depressed you know, Andrew?

Well, if you’re familiar with a quick technique for taking yourself into self-hypnosis, then use it now. If not, it really doesn’t matter, just quietly take a few slow deep breaths while noticing how the air you’re breathing in is cooling your body and calming your mind and the air you’re breathing out is releasing all the tension from your body.

Now just remember a time in the past when you’re playing golf really well, enjoying yourself and scoring as well as you know you can now. If you can’t remember a time, just imagine a time when you might have played and felt that good.

Now see what you saw when you’re playing well, imagine the scene like you’re seeing it through your own eyes. Make the picture bright, bold and active. See all the colour and movement in the picture and amplify it.

Hear the sounds that you’re hearing there, perhaps the sound of the wind or the other golfers on the course or the sounds of birds. Notice any particular aromas, perhaps the scent of the freshly cut grass or the smell of your favourite food wafting across the course from the clubhouse.

Remember or imagine the physical feelings of warmth or coolness in your body, the weight of your shoes on the ground and, most importantly those good feelings associated with this experience.

Feels good, doesn’t it? You’re playing golf really well when you feel this good, aren’t you.

Leave a Reply