Athletes With Anxiety
A Closer Look at Anxiety in Professional Athletes
Professional athletes are often seen as the epitome of physical and mental strength. But what we don’t often see is the unseen battle that many athletes face – anxiety. Studies have found that athletes suffer from anxiety more than the general population, due to the pressure they face to perform. Let’s take a closer look at why this is and how it can be managed.
The Pressure to Perform
It’s no wonder professional athletes experience higher levels of anxiety. The pressure to perform at an elite level is intense and unrelenting. With so much riding on each performance, it can be difficult for athletes to stay calm and focused before, during, and after games or competitions. This pressure can lead to negative self-talk, which can further contribute to anxiety symptoms like racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating.
Managing Performance Anxiety
Thankfully there are strategies athletes with anxiety can use to manage their performance anxiety. One of the most effective methods is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves examining one’s thought patterns in order to identify any distortions or irrational beliefs that may be contributing to their anxious feelings. Once these core issues are identified, changes in thinking and behavior can be made which in turn can reduce overall anxiety levels. Mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation have also been found to be effective for managing performance anxiety. These practices help athletes become more present in the moment and build mental resilience by increasing focus and concentration skills.
At Cognitive Pursuits LLC, we recognize the unique challenges professional athletes face and strive to provide specialized care to help them better manage their performance anxiety. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!