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Baseball Zen

 4 June 2024

Allison watched a lot of MLB.TV Baseball Zen clips and was grateful for another way to settle her mind when negative or anxious thoughts take hold.

Tags: allison read, allison watched, balance, baseball, breathing, mental health, self-talk

I’m a big fan of baseball and menta­l health, so it was a lot of fun to write this blog post about the Atlanta Braves in 2021: Manage Your Anxiety and Win a World Series.

In the last few years, Major League Baseball has given me another tool for when I need to settle my mind and help any negative or anxious thoughts move along. As best I can tell, the Baseball Zen clips started as a way to create some better commercials on MLB.TV that also celebrated the game. Now, they’ve gained a following, and you can find more than forty 15 and 30-second clips here.

As Sam Fels explains in this article,Two of them feature Shohei Ohtani, one being him delivering a fastball in slow motion or another which follows him from thwacking a homer at the plate and then as he jogs down to and around first base, marveling at his work. But there are others. One just shows a groundskeeper watering the infield for 30 seconds. They bounce between something on the field or something ancillary to the game, all in slow motion with no music, a baseball diamond superimposed over it, where the basepaths slowly fill in to show you the time until the broadcast returns. It’s like a countdown screen.”

I’m especially fond of the field rake, chalk, balloons, and one of my favorite Braves players, Ozzie Albies, hitting a home run. I can watch one of these a few times and start to feel calmer. If I need a laugh more than a bit of relaxation, I watch this little kid's walk-up dance.

If you’re not a baseball fan, I’m not sure if these clips will do anything for you. However, I’m hopeful they will inspire you to find other ways to visually reset your mind. I did a quick search and found these on the Boston University site. I’ve also been known to read a children’s picture book to help me feel better or I use this breathing exercise or these affirmations.

What tools help you when negative thoughts and anxious feelings start to dominate your self-talk?

p.s. I’m also very grateful to Major League Baseball for its MLB Together campaign that “focuses on public awareness and de-stigmatization, providing necessary education and countless resources (including a 24/7 Crisis Text line that offers crisis support in English or Spanish), and positive stories from MLB players about mental health within baseball. Here's hoping that one day mental health will just be health


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