In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, the LPGA sat down with representatives from Ogletree Deakins and Headspace to chat about the “next normal” and the impact prioritizing our mental health can have on our lives both on and off the course.

We wanted to share some of our favorite quotes and advice from the full conversation to keep you mentally resilient in your golf game.

Take your “MEDS”

Alex Freda, working in Business Development for the meditation and mindfulness app Headspace, suggests that instead of trying to find a quick fix or lifehack to find clarity in your life to instead take a more holistic stance, changing not just small habits but your everyday approach to your own health and wellness.

He admits these changes may be less interesting than investing in a new fad relaxation regimen or gadgets, but he attests that this is a mindset that is fundamental to having a more sustainable, positive life. He suggested remembering “MEDS”, an acronym which stands for Meditation, Exercise, Diet, and Sleep.

“If you’re exhausted all of the time, or you’re not nourishing your body with the right foods, you’re really not making it easy for yourself to have a positive mindset in the first place,” said Freda. “So I think that if we do an honest audit of ourselves and sort of focus on those basic behaviors first, then we’re setting ourselves up for some good things in the future.”

By taking the time to take your “MEDS”, you’re laying the foundation for a solid mind-body connection that will be a great first step in making your mental health a priority.

Practice What You Want to Perfect

Practice makes perfect is so often said for a reason. What you spend your time focusing on will become what your brain wires itself to improve. This is just as true for positive improvements as it is for accidentally encouraging unproductive thought patterns.

If you spend time thinking about how your game isn’t as good as the other players on the course, or you frequently imagine the worst-case scenario for each shot, then those thought patterns are more likely to manifest in your real life as well.

Dr. Dennis Davis, Ogletree Deakins’ National Director of Client Training, believes that this is a key factor to consider when trying to craft a mental resilience in your life. By being kind to yourself, talking to yourself like you would your best friend, you can naturally shift your outlook to be more positive, take life’s pitfalls in stride, and experience a more enjoyable game.

He said, “If we practice negative self-talk, we’re going to get really good at it. If we practice being cynical, if we practice not observing, we do it more and more, we’re going to get really good at that. One of the best reasons for being kind to ourselves, or being mindful, or working on our resilience is we get good at what we practice.”

In golf and in life, you often get back what you put out. If you keep getting a negative result, it might be time to check if you are practicing a negative mindset or a positive one.

Take a Breath

Even though we can try as often as possible to have a positive outlook, the stressors of everyday life can still find ways to aggravate the best of us. Maria Greco Danaher, a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins’ Pittsburgh Office, believes that in these moments of high stress or extreme negative self-talk that the quickest way to get back to center is with a simple grounding technique.

We have all experienced high stress moments, whether it is losing the chance of making par by just one putt, or after getting stuck in traffic when we’re already running late. But by grounding yourselves with just a short exercise, you can put the world back into perspective and address that though something less than ideal has happened, it is not useful or helpful to continue approaching it with criticism.

“When I’m in a moment—and we’ve all done this—we say: ‘Oh, I can’t believe it! I’m so stupid. Oh, that was so dumb!’ ” said Greco Danaher. “What I do, I literally put my hand on my heart, and I take a breath. And I say: ‘You made a mistake. You’re not stupid. You made a mistake, and now you can fix this mistake.’ And that’s it. And when I finish those five seconds, I feel so much better.”

Taking a few seconds to ground yourself between shots is an easy addition to your game that won’t slow down the pace of play. It can give you a much needed sense of agency when everything feels out of your control, and it can do wonders for your mind’s ability to take charge and prepare for challenge ahead.

Stay in the Moment

When learning more about how to develop your mental skills when it comes to golf, there is a lot of talk around playing one shot at a time. There’s a reason golf is as much of a mental game as it is a physical one. Similar to grounding, mindfulness—the practice of focusing on the present—can help keep the stress from getting to an overwhelming point in the first place.

If you hit a bad shot, or you’re just having a generally off-day, it can be hard to not ruminate on all the things you could have done better and all the ways you could potentially mess up next time. But these thoughts are very rarely helpful when trying to prioritize a healthy mental landscape for yourself.

By staying in the moment, you can train your mind to realize that no other moments matter as much as the present. The past is done and the future has not yet arrived; we only have this moment, so letting past regrets or future worries take over is not setting up your present moment for success.

Greco Danaher suggested another mantra she follows based on a plaque her children gifted her. It says, “Use what you have. Do what you can. It will be enough.”

Adopting a similar mantra can help you put your present into perspective and detach your actions from the outcome you have crafted in your mind—both good or bad. Instead, you can focus your attention on what you are actually doing in the here and now and are able to move on to the next moment with the same clarity as the one before.

Ask for Help When You Need It

When everyone else seems to have their life, their career, and even their golf game more together than you, it can be hard to have the motivation to take care of yourself, practice positive self-talk, remember to ground yourself, or even want to stay in the present moment.

Everyone faces hardships and setbacks. Everyone encounters things that makes their emotions run high, and no one gets it right 100% of the time. One in five people suffer from mental and emotional challenges, and with that understanding, Dr. Davis reminds everyone to always keep two things in mind: 1) You are not alone, and 2) It is okay to ask for help.

When it comes to mental health, he takes a practical approach. “If I had a sprained ankle, I’d get some help. If I realized that my swing has kind of gotten off, I’d get a swing coach; I’d get some help. Anxiety and depression are no different. It’s okay to ask for some help.”

Help can come in the form of a trusted friend, a therapist, a mentor . . . if you are struggling to make any of these suggestions stick, there are always people who will be able to help you. Don’t be afraid to be honest and seek support if you need to.

So, the next time you are out on the golf course, just feeling off or frustrated by whatever is going on in your life, take some time to check in with yourself and make sure you are giving yourself all the space your mind, body, and soul need. If you do, you may just find yourself enjoying the game more, fine-tuning your skills, and finding more clarity in your life off the course as well.