Did you know anxiety has surpassed depression as the #1 college student mental health disorder?
Student-athletes report that they feel on edge, have trouble sleeping, and worry non-stop about school, sport, and relationships.
There’s no “cure” for anxiety–we all need stress to stay alive and get stuff done. But if you’re overwhelmed, here are three tips to accept anxiety and float through it instead of fighting it:
- Belly Breathe
- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly (below belly button)
- Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth
- When you inhale, keep the hand on your chest still, while pushing out the hand on your belly with air (opposite of “sucking it in”)
- Exhale completely…let your shoulders droop as you breathe out
- Diaphragm is the muscle beneath your lungs…you’ll feel that drop as you inhale, which allows your lungs to expand down into your chest cavity
- Repeat a Trigger Word
- Word or phrase that helps you focus on the present; on the task at hand
- Something that’s simple and under your control
- When you get distracted, gently refocus on your trigger word
- Examples: “Fast and loose”, “Deep breath, “Have fun”, “Aggressive”, “Best Effort”, “Relaxed and easy”, “Poise”, “Stay low”, “One at a time”
- Ask Three Questions
- What’s the worst case scenario?
- What’s the likelihood of that worst case scenario?
- Even if that unlikely worst case scenario happened, could you handle it? (What would be the realistic consequences?)
Stressed out about finals? Check out these tips for TEST ANXIETY.
And if these strategies don’t chill you out, spend time with your favorite pet. 🙂