Article Repost: Self-Talk Using Bridge Statements

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“Some psychologists recommend what they call bridge statements. These soften the contradiction between what you’re thinking and what you’re physically experiencing, says Petruzzelli, creating a bridge between the two opposing sentiments.

They also draw on past experiences to ground your positive self-talk in reality. For example, instead of telling yourself, “I’m going to crush this race because my last 10K was so fast” before your first half-marathon, you might tell yourself something like, “This will be the farthest I’ve ever run, which will feel tough at times, but I’m up for the challenge.” The former might indeed be true, but the latter is more considerate of the situation.

Bridge statements tend to work because they’re based in objective optimism, says Fader, which isn’t an oxymoron. “Optimistic self-talk is only helpful if it’s based in facts,” he explains — without any truth, it might be hard to convince yourself of something. Bridge statements are also neutral, which helps you be more open-minded and flexible in your mentality before, during and after a workout or event. “Instead of letting your emotions dictate your behaviors, bridge statements redirect your focus to what you can control and what’s possible in the moment,” adds Petruzzelli.”

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Shamrock’n Half-Marathon 2023

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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.

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