Happier than the other person

One of my patients is an athlete with particularly high aspirations. They* sought me out to be part of their health care team. From their reports, it doesn’t appear that their sports medicine department is very robust. I’ve been trying to discern what, if any, resources the athletes had, in terms of health care professionals. I brought up sport psychology, which I had studied during for my M.S. degree. During my explanation of sport psychology, they nodded with clear understanding and elaborated in their own words. They mentioned that indeed, when comparing athletes, if everything else is equal, it’s likely the one with positive thinking that runs faster.

I was happy to hear their espousal. I’m nervous when mentioning psychology as a health care system, as it’s still fraught with stigma. To see a young person demonstrate that they had no such notions and that they understood the basic precept of positive psychology was very refreshing.

I told them that there are many ways to exercise the mind, as there are many ways to exercise the body. I encouraged taking a class or two on psychology, or to read books on the subject. Thus, I came across this article. I think these books are applicable to a wider audience, so I’m sharing the list here. Fun fact: I’ve read only one of these. Can you guess which one? Which have you read? Let me know in the comments, or at your next appointment.

*They/Them/Their pronouns are used in this post to protect health information. The pronouns are used in the singular sense and do not necessarily denote gender neutrality, or any portion of the gender spectrum.

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