Sports Anxiety and How to Manage And Overcome It
For anyone who has awakened to the feeling of fear, worry, and nervousness this article is for you. Sports Anxiety is less about the sport and more about the person playing the sport. Let me first start off with a little story about me and my experiences with all these feelings with sports anxiety.
Let me preface this article what no one is telling you that these are the end all be all of your anxiety. Also, it is not a manifesto telling you to stop thinking because we all know a racing mind is tough to slow down let alone stop.
These are simple ways in which I have and do combat any worry or anxiety. It is not about the specific sport but Sports Anxiety really dealing with having anxiety during any sport.
My Story with Sports Anxiety
I had always been a confident individual and always knew what I wanted and how I wanted to achieve it. One day something struck me, and it was a case of severe anxiety. It just seemed to come out of nowhere. The feeling that nothing is going to get better and that you are never going to become anything or something severely bad is about to happen.
Let me tell you it is something that is hard to explain and only those that have experienced it will relate. Everyone has come across a sense of nervousness or worry in their life but to have it come over you like a sandstorm that came out of nowhere is rather scary and I had no idea how to handle it and what I needed to do to get through it.
I felt like I needed to reach out to anyone that would listen to me speak about my business or listen to my abilities as a person, who can provide their business with value. It felt like I needed to prove something to someone and try to get as many people to come to me for coaching, training, and even offered my skills to as many people that were willing to take me on. I was frantic. I was scared, and I had an extreme sense of desperation. It was this uncomfortable feeling that plagued me for a few weeks straight and still comes upon me every once and a while.
Now anyone reading that part will say “so it motivated you to be a better businessman” well yes in hindsight it did. We will get to the positive about these feelings later on. You have to understand that during all of this I felt as if some catastrophic event was going to take place. It was completely irrational again looking back at it from a clear mind. While you are in it though it is everything.
What does it all mean with Sports Anxiety?
Now let’s talk about what exactly these feelings mean. Being worried, anxious, or nervous is an innate ability to sense danger and was a handy tool when we were cavemen and women and needed to survive a kingdom of dangers.
In this day and age, however, these dangers are not as substantial, and the feelings of worry, nervousness, and anxiety all stem from what would seem to be trivial things. Such as a job interview, a new school, an exam, things that are not going to harm us in any way but they still create those feelings.
How can I deal with Sports Anxiety?
It is important to understand that the sensations you are feeling are simply that, sensations. They are natural, and they are there to serve a purpose. We need to take a step back when we begin to worry about things that seem to be big but in reality, are small.
Zoom Out on Sports Anxiety:
I like to think of it as if you are using a telescope, you are zoomed in onto your problems and cannot see an entire world riddled with issues. Take a step back and ask yourself what is going on in the world that is worse than what I am going through? Imagine how they are feeling. Is mine something I can work through with little consequence? Chances are it is. Take the time to appreciate that your issues could be a lot worse. That you will work through the things that are holding you back right now!
Use action, not seclusion:
Like I said in my story I decided to act on my nervousness and reach out to anyone that was willing to lend an ear and I took action on the things I was feeling nervous about and that was my business and because of that, I increased sales and networks in a single day.
It sounds simple, but it is far harder than I am making it seem. These feelings can cause a paralyzing fear, and the thought of doing anything other than hiding is repulsive at best. Don’t worry just like anything if you chip away at it and practice it will get better. Take action on the things that are worrying you and start to move past them.
Be thankful that you are getting the chance to make yourself a stronger person by going through something like this. Appreciate that it will only allow you to handle situations in the future a lot more smoothly and it will get you that much is closer to your goals!
Help someone else with performance anxiety sports:
There is nothing on this planet that helps inspire the feel goods like helping out your fellow man or woman. Where ever you can, however, you can lend a helping hand I guarantee you will feel better about yourself afterward!
Naturally enough, if you are focusing in on something that is causing you the feelings of severe anxiety. Chances are doing something unrelated to that will help you approach it later with a fresh mind and new outlook.
Go for a walk with the dog, listen to music, read, exercise, cook, talk to someone about what they are doing in life and be genuinely interested in listening to them.
When you feel like it’s time to face the issue at hand you will be coming at it with a newly focused mind. I bet you will feel less anxious as well.
You are as good as you think you are, the feeling of anxiety and worry love to play tricks on your brain. They make you believe that you’re incapable of being whatever it is you want to be. Remember you were once a confident kid who wanted to do big things. You are still that kid. Your brain is just trying to say hey there is a chance of failure. Just tell yourself so what if you do fail. What is the worst that could happen? Simply get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward. You don’t get anywhere chasing your tail!
Be patient with Sports Anxiety:
This was the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. Some of the greatest things in life take time. You need to be willing to rough it through the tough times to get to the great times. Set the groundwork for a great life every single day and what your due will come. Do not quit on your goals because of the feeling you’re having. The feelings someone else may have for you, or because of some things that happen financially. You have a goal you have worked so hard for it and to quit because of cold feet would be a waste of all your previous efforts.
If something seems to be too far away, then you need to narrow it down to the smallest steps. Complete the tasks one day at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day as the saying goes.
Being mindful is one of the greatest tools we can use to get ourselves out of the neurotic behavior that anxiety is. We need to be able to learn to accept the feelings of anxiety as being just that. Feelings, feelings never harmed anyone (physically at least). They are a tool we can use to achieve our goal. I recommend that anyone who experiences these feelings every day take 10minutes and practice focusing on their breath. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth focusing all your attention on the breathing. Your mind will wander. That is a fact, and it is ok. Just remember to bring the focus back to the breath.
There have been many studies that show that this “exercise” actually transforms the brain. It helps increase prefrontal cortex function which is responsible for joy.
It is going to be okay: You Can be More Than Sports Anxiety
Trust me when I tell you that I read and watched uncountable amounts of information on why I am feeling the way I am feeling. It only served to make me feel more anxious.
You need to believe that everything is going to be ok. If you follow some of the things, I outline in this article that it will only be a smoother transition to “normal.”
Remember to be grateful for these feelings because they are only going to make you a stronger person. They will also allow you to serve other people in helping them get through these tough times.