What does being an athlete mean about your psyche?
1. Participation in regular exercise decreases depression.
2. Sport is an appropriate outlet for aggressive and competitive impulses and helps us continue to "play" as we get older.
3. It is a means of expressing internal conflicts or conflicted interpersonal dynamics in an arena that is safer and more appropriate than, say, to act them out within one’s family or career (e.g., conflicts around competition, domination, self-expression, etc.).
4. It can facilitate expression of different aspects of the self; different experiences of who you are in relation to yourself, other people, and the world in general.
5. It can facilitate both connection with other people (e.g., teammates) and the expression of autonomy from them (e.g., competitors).
6. It can help people develop a sense of value with regards to accomplishment.
7. It can facilitate the development of a personal sense of meaning with regards to competition, persistence, success/failure, team culture, etc.
8. On a practical level, it can help people maintain physical health and decrease stress.
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