If you are at a point in life where you are ready to develop a healthy and sustainable system to manage stress and anxiety, then this episode is for you! Coping with Stress and Anxiety is real talk about the importance for athletes to manage their metal...
If you are at a point in life where you are ready to develop a healthy and sustainable system to manage stress and anxiety, then this episode is for you! Coping with Stress and Anxiety is real talk about the importance for athletes to manage their metal health.
Rey shares her real-life experiences on her strategies to manage her stress and anxiety. She also shares key facts about the importance for athletes to understand mastering your emotions is crucial for performance and overall health. Finally, Rey wraps up the episode with 3 actionable steps for you to successfully cope with stress and anxiety:
Hold the Mic: Balance Meditation App
 The Sport Digest
Hey guys! Welcome back to Growth on the Daily, the personal development podcast for athletes. My name is Rey and I'm your host. I'm a former competitive hockey player, passionate about self-growth, and I'm here to support you on your journey to becoming the best version of you.
Thank you guys so much for tuning into today's episode. For those of you who are new to the show, thank you and welcome to Growth on the Daily. And if you're back for another episode, thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. Before we dive into the episode, follow us on Instagram @Growth on the Daily, to stay up to date with the show. This week's episode is titled, Coping with Stress and Anxiety.
So in terms of Specialties for Success, we're focused on the emotional category, meaning we're talking about mastering your emotions. If you are at a point in life where you are ready to develop healthy and a sustainable system to manage stress and anxiety, then this episode is for you.
Alright, let's hear from the experts.
In my research this week, I really wanted to help define the relationship between athletes and stress and anxiety. From the Sports Digest, I was able to discover the following: "athletes who suffer from stress and anxiety and do not learn to control their symptoms, will soon have issues that will cross over into their performance".
So the point here is that, stress and anxiety can lead to difficulties in performance for athletes. So definitely something that's crucial to target. Another point that was made is that "a particularly problematic issue is that athletes greatly underutilized school counseling and mental health services".
So another point there is we may not have enough mental health resources. That's definitely true. However, even for the ones that do exist, they are underutilized. So we have two competing problems here, so definitely needs to be addressed. Now I also want to illustrate why these problems are so critical and why they need addressing, why coaches should care, why leagues should care, why media outlets should care, not simply just why athletes should care.
So what happens when stress and anxiety are not managed properly? According to another article, it states that, " stress and anxiety when not managed properly, can lead to dropout burnout and even maladaptive fatigue syndrome. It occurs when the athlete does not have help to control their stress or anxiety, and the symptoms don't go away. So the athlete is constantly suffering from these symptoms".
It says that "the emotions of adaptive and maladaptive fatigue syndrome include anger, hostility, anxiety, confusion, depression, sadness, a lack of vigor and apathy. So once an athlete begins showing signs of maladaptive fatigue syndrome, the athlete needs to seriously consider quitting their sport and getting professional help".
So obviously that is an extreme low point. That we don't want anyone to get to, and that is why I'm really trying to emphasize the fact that we need to address mental health when it comes to athletes because we don't want people suffering because of it. Alright, so now that we understand how crucial this is to understand, I really want to help you guys manage your stress and anxiety by sharing some of the tools and tactics that I use personally.
So let's hear my take!
The first step that I use to manage my stress and anxiety is actually to identify what my stressors and anxious thoughts are. This is an awful process. The reason it's so awful is because it involves two things, at least for me, you might use other strategies, but these are the ones that work for me. Journaling and speaking to someone.
I actually hate both of these things, believe it or not. And hate is a strong word. I really don't enjoy it, and that's because it's a very uncomfortable process. It's because you're putting everything out there out in the open and then it becomes real, something that you need to address.
And also because it's actually stressful to do this, to address your stress is stressful, which you know, is completely ironic and in the worst way possible. Because I often find myself thinking about, well, what do you mean, what am I stressed about? I'm stressed about everything like life, all the circumstances, and it's hard to get to the root of the problems.
So how do you actually navigate that? What I recommend is open your mouth or just start writing because you might start with what's the weather or what did you eat for lunch today? And I promise you, you will end up way deeper than you ever thought you would have. So those layers just start peeling and start peeling. But the hardest step is that first step.
So maybe that's something that you would like to try and maybe you have tried them. I don't know. I'm curious to find out your experiences. So feel free to send a DM @GrowthontheDaily, Let me know how you identify your stressors and anxious thoughts if you have any recommendations that you would love to share with the Growth on the Daily community.
After you've done this, the next step is caring for your mind. So this looks different for everyone. Self care is different for everyone. For me, I have numerous things. I have things like cooking and baking cause I love making food. I love having my hands do something.
I also love things like going for nature walks, being in a peaceful environment. So I like taking my dog and just going to conservation area or a little trail, something like that. And that is very peaceful. I also love drawing because sometimes I have an artistic touch and want to see what happens with that. So that's something that works for me. And there's also things like adult coloring books or you can just use the kid coloring books. There's nothing wrong with that either. And that might help you manage that stress and anxiety.
Or even working out. Working out is great, it's definitely a tool that I use to manage my stress and anxiety. One thing with working out is make sure that if you are someone who works out to cope with your stress, anxiety, it helps with your mental health, great. But make sure you're still taking the time to dive into identifying those stressors and those anxious thoughts because it's often very easy to just let it settle and never address it again until you're dealing with the symptoms that come from them and working out to mitigate those symptoms.
And you don't want to end up in that cycle because then you'll just burn out and explode because there'll be too much to deal with. So just make sure you're working out for the right reasons. There's definitely plenty of physical and mental health benefits to working out. I'm a strong advocate and I will definitely say if that works for you, great, do it. I definitely preach to that.
After you've done that, the final thing I recommend is developing a strategy to calm you down. So if you're someone who like me suffers from panic attacks, then definitely listen up here because I'm talking directly to you.
You don't know when a panic attack is going to happen. One, it feels like you are literally having a heart attack and it's unexpected. So that's really where the panic starts. Sometimes you don't even know why you're panicking. So you have to be able to have some sort of strategy to calm yourself down because you don't know if you're going to be alone. You don't want to get physically hurt.
I've had panic attacks where I pass out. And then You can get injured in the fall, right? Or be in public and people don't know how to interact with you and what to do. So you have to understand how you can self-cope. So not only can you minimize the recurrence of panic attacks, but so that they can pass faster.
I recommend doing the following. I don't know if this will work for you, but this works for me. So I thought I would share it. The first is breathing exercises, breathing exercises, and focusing on your breaths. So focusing on actually feeling inhalation and exhalation and even counting your breaths helps. It's not for everyone, but it does help for me.
Another thing I use is finger counting. So as I'm doing those breathing exercises, I actually take my fingers like this, like I'm a five year old learning how to do basic math, and I count on my fingers just 1 to 10 going back and forth, and I make sure I touch every single finger because what that does is it registers to your brain to focus on something else. It's just little things that just get your mind off of panicking.
And even speaking to someone, right? Some people might just need to be around people and just need to be coddled or left alone, right? Understand what's the best thing for you. For me, it depends on the circumstance. If I'm freaking out, I need to calm myself down, and other people are just adding to my stress when that happens. And that's something that I make sure I communicate to other people so that they're aware. So whether that's your significant other, your friends, your family, so they just know how to help you, right? Because at the end of the day, everyone just wants to help you and get out of this frantic state. So make sure you understand what's the best for you and communicate that.
Alright guys, that's enough talking for me. So it's time for a quick shoutout.
On this note of coping with stress and anxiety, I wanted to share with you guys the meditation app that I use every single day. Sometimes, it's in the morning for a morning meditation, and even at night to help me fall asleep. This is called Balance Meditation app. It is an app that I just started using a few weeks ago.
It helps with various things such as reducing stress, sleeping better, increasing your focus, feeling happier, managing stress and anxiety. They have a free one year subscription, so you can just download it on the app store. I'll link it down in the show notes and you can just subscribe to it and you'll get a free year and access to the entire app.
Maybe that'll work for you. Maybe it won't, but never hurts to try.
Alright guys, time to wrap up this episode!
For your Meaningful Mentions this week, I have three key takeaways. The first is you need to acknowledge and identify your stressors and anxious thoughts. That is key to addressing the problems. If you don't know the problem, how are you supposed to address them? The second is, take care of your mind the best way for you.
For me, that's working out. It's cooking and baking. It's getting out in nature. For others, it might be none of those things. It might be watching Netflix. They might need to take a whole trip. Go on vacation, I have no idea, but understand what works best for you.
And finally, have that coping strategy for those peak, stressful and anxious times. So if you're dealing with a tough deadline for school, for work or maybe you have an important competition coming up, or maybe you are someone who suffers from panic attacks, whatever that is, you need to be able to calm yourself down. And having those coping strategies that work best for you is crucial.
To help you guys on your journey this week with coping with stress and anxiety. I have a motivational quote from Dan Millman, an author who really targets mindset and he states the following, "you don't have to control your thoughts, you just have to stop letting them control you".
I think that's a great quote for this week, especially someone who is an overthinker like myself and that does not contribute well to stress and anxiety. So reminding yourself that, thoughts come in and out, and that's okay. You just have to make sure that those negative ones aren't impacting your actions or inhibiting you from acting the way you should.
That's all I have for this week's episode. Thank you so much for listening and taking the time to tune in. I applaud you guys for your commitment to Learn, Grow, and Thrive. Let's grow this community. So please send this episode to anyone that you know and let's grow the show together. And of course, check out our website, growthonthedaily.com for more info. And leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and on our website.
Thanks guys, and I'll see you next week!