Tag Archives: stress

Strategies for Dealing with Stress

9 May

How-to-Manage-Your-Stress[1]Life’s daily anxieties cause stress.  And though experts say that some stress is good for you — it can sharpen your senses and your mind — too much stress is bad for your mental and physical health.  Ultimately, you can’t control everything that happens, but you can choose how you react to and deal with it.  Here are some strategies for dealing with anxiety and stress:

  • Accept that some things are out of your control.  Focus on impacting and influencing those things over which you have control.
  • Be positive.  Avoid thinking and expecting the worst.  Adopt a “can do” attitude and don’t hesitate to ask for help if and when you need it.  Believe in you.
  • Be efficient.  Manage your time wisely and prioritize.  Commit to a reasonable, daily “to do” list, in writing.  Give yourself time to get things done, and allow adequate time to prepare for an event.
  • Have a hobby.  Do things that are enjoyable and provide you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  • Don’t always depend on others to provide your happiness.
  • Allow yourself some quiet time.  Take 15-20 minutes every day to sit quietly and reflect.  Learn and practice relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing.  Meditation and prayer can help you process things.
  • Exercise regularly.  Hit the gym; ride a bike; go for a walk or jog; go hiking — stay active!  Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Get enough sleep.  Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.  Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night.
  • Seek social support.  Family and close friends (along with clubs, organizations, and support groups) can provide perspective and help you stay balanced.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Strategies for Dealing with Stress

10 Apr

How-to-Manage-Your-Stress[1]Life’s daily anxieties cause stress.  And though experts say that some stress is good for you — it can sharpen your senses and your mind — too much stress is bad for your mental and physical health.  Ultimately, you can’t control everything that happens, but you can choose how you react to and deal with it.  Here are some strategies for dealing with anxiety and stress:

  • Accept that some things are out of your control.  Focus on impacting and influencing those things over which you have control.
  • Be positive.  Avoid thinking and expecting the worst.  Adopt a “can do” attitude and don’t hesitate to ask for help if and when you need it.  Believe in you.
  • Be efficient.  Manage your time wisely and prioritize.  Commit to a reasonable, daily “to do” list, in writing.  Give yourself time to get things done, and allow adequate time to prepare for an event.
  • Have a hobby.  Do things that are enjoyable and provide you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  • Don’t always depend on others to provide your happiness.
  • Allow yourself some quiet time.  Take 15-20 minutes every day to sit quietly and reflect.  Learn and practice relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing.  Meditation and prayer can help you process things.
  • Exercise regularly.  Hit the gym; ride a bike; go for a walk or jog; go hiking — stay active!  Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Get enough sleep.  Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.  Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night.
  • Seek social support.  Family and close friends (along with clubs, organizations, and support groups) can provide perspective and help you stay balanced.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Sports Psychology, Part 1: Anxiety

14 Sep

Sports psychology is concerned with understanding the influence of behavior on sports performance.  It is considered a component of Exercise Science.  This post, the first in a series, will explore the psychological aspect of athletic performance and its effects.

Sports psychology has three primary goals:

  • Measurement of psychological phenomena
  • Investigation of the relationship between psychology and performance
  • Applying this knowledge to improve athletic performance

Anxiety is a state of situational apprehension and uncertainty experienced by athletes.  Cognitive anxiety manifests itself in worrisome thoughts, while somatic anxiety results in physical symptoms (for example, tense muscles and rapid heart rate).  Anxiety can adversely affect athletic performance in at least three ways:

  • A perceived threat to self-esteem
  • A perceived discrepancy between one’s abilities and the demands for athletic success
  • A fear of the consequences of failure (disapproval from teammates, coach, family, or peers)

Stress is anything that disrupts a state of mental and physical calm.  Although stress has a negative connotation, it can actually be negative or positive.  A “psyched-up” athlete is not necessarily an anxious athlete.  For example, an athlete aroused by stress may experience significant mental activation, resulting in positive thoughts and a strong sense of control, potentially enhancing athletic performance.

Selective attention is commonly referred to by athletes as their level of focus, and describes their ability to “block out” task-irrelevant stimuli and thoughts.  Successful athletes are able to utilize selective attention to focus on task-relevant cues by developing a mental checklist that directs their attention toward controllable concerns (for example, a placekicker breathing, checking the turf, and stretching the hamstrings).  Coaches can help athletes to focus, and avoid becoming overloaded, by situationally and appropriately helping them block out external stimuli and directing their focus on a limited number of cues.

Your thoughts?

Next: The Ideal Performance State

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