Emotional Fatigue for Athletes
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Emotional Fatigue in Athletes

Researchers have concluded that emotional fatigue arises from the brain controlling the body's physical sensations. Emotional fatigue laters the metabolic activity of skeletal muscles in the hands, legs, and lungs. Mentally tired athletes cannot perform well in sports. The physiology of the body is different from the emotional well-being of a person, and both these aspects cannot be compared. A person having good physiological health can have deteriorating mental health.

Emotional Fatigue In Sports

Sports involves the activities that maintain a person's physical health, but stiff competition or even failure can lead to emotional fatigue. Emotional fatigue is a feeling of being mentally worn out due to the collective stress from daily routines. The daily routine of athletes includes intense workout sessions, and over workouts lead to tiredness and loss of energy. If emotional stress is not managed appropriately, the athletes may lose interest in sports, which will be a huge loss for their country.

Emotional fatigue is a sign of burnout, which is quite normal for a person. However, persisting emotional fatigue may lead to depression. The emotional stress may be from sports or personal issues. If an athlete is unable to overcome emotional fatigue, then he or she will gradually suffer from a lack of energy and will be vulnerable to both physical and mental problems. Thus, it is always advised to spend some time with friends or others to overcome emotional fatigue.

Deteriorating Metabolic Health Leads To Emotional Fatigue

Sports training can have significant effects on the metabolic rate of the athlete’s body. Although most sports have a positive impact on the metabolism of our bodies, too much exercise, which is not required for a body, may lead to alterations in the metabolism and may cause respiration, circulation to the skeletal muscles, and even digestion. When metabolic health is affected, the athlete will suffer from emotional fatigue.

Causes Of Emotional Fatigue

The various causes that may lead to emotional fatigue are discussed as follows:

  • Anxiety is the primary cause of emotional fatigue. Stress due to professional or personal issues can deteriorate an athlete's metabolic health, leading to emotional fatigue.
  • Sometimes, due to an accident or an injury of some kind, an athlete is not allowed to play any sport. This may also cause emotional fatigue.
  • Failures also cause emotional fatigue. Failure to meet the expectations of others or themselves in performing better at a particular sport or excelling in a sport may cause athletes to undergo emotional fatigue. 
  • Imposing strict rules on their lifestyles such as strict routine of diet and workout sessions can also lead to emotional fatigue in athletes.

Symptoms Of Emotional Fatigue

  • Emotional fatigue leads to lower serotonin levels in the body. The low levels of serotonin cause an increase in anger, anxiety, depression and even panic. 
  • Levels of dopamine are lowered, leading to sadness and eventually depression. 
  • Norepinephrine levels are also decreased in our body, which causes an increase in blood pressure and various health issues.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause athletes to have the fear of attempting any sport again because of their failure at the same sport last time.
  • When stress remains persistent in the body, the high levels of cortisol released in response to it finally result in the impairment of the brain's function.

How Can Athletes Combat Emotional Stress

  • An athlete should always take a break when he/she feels the training programme to be too hectic to handle. This break relaxes their bodies and prepares them to face the next day's challenges.
  • Stress management, including meditation and breathing exercises, should be practised every day.
  • Walking in nature's lap will help revive the soul and uplift the mood. The chattering noise of the woods, splashing of waters and even the sound of trees in the presence of breeze will help lessen emotional stress.
  • If an athlete is stressed, then they must stop doing multiple tasks at the same time. To increase focus and mindfulness, one should focus on one thing at a time and ensure to complete it without any flaws.
  • The athlete should write their thoughts in a journal or diary. Jotting down their thoughts in the diary will ease their stress.
  • Self-care should always be prioritised.
  • Monotonous workouts should be avoided. The athletes should be ready to face new challenges every day. New drills with chill-out sessions should be included in their daily sports routine.


Emotional fatigue can lead to negative effects on the life of an athlete. It is always said that we should practise the sports as a passion or as a fun-loving activity. But sports should never be taken as a forceful activity in our daily lives, or it will cause emotional fatigue. Exercise should be followed regularly and should include breathing exercises to relax our brain and prevent emotional fatigue. Athletes should have a proper check on their metabolic health to have a proper balance in the physical, mental, emotional and psychological health.

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  • https://swolverine.com/blogs/blog/how-to-overcome-mental-fatigue-to-optimize-athletic-performance


This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.