Mental health can have an impact on all areas of life and although athletes are encouraged to take care of their physical health, mental wellbeing is always equally important.
For a lot of people, 2020 has been tough for so many reasons and feeling anxious or stressed is completely normal.
Here at 7 Elite Academy we recognize that taking steps towards improving your mental health is extremely important - so with the help of Colin Wilford, Clinical Psychologist and CEO of Wilford Scholes, we have compiled a list of 7 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH STRESS AND ANXIETY.
1- A problem shared is a problem halved! Confiding in someone you trust is a great first step to combatting an issue that might be making you feel stressed or anxious.
DID YOU KNOW? Research from U.C.L.A. shows that putting your feelings into words cansignificantly decrease something called the ‘amygdala response’. This is when your brain releases stress hormones in response to emotions such as fear, anxiety and anger.
2 - It's hard to combat your unhappiness if you don’t what is causing you to feel that way in the first place. It may help to look at the problem in a logical, constructive and reasonable way.
DID YOU KNOW? Research from Southern Methodist University suggested that writing down or sharing problems had a positive impact, mainly because holding back thoughts and emotions is stressful within itself.
3 - Having faith in yourself and recognizing what makes you feel happy and grateful can be extremely beneficial! It’s important to balance out those negative feelings, and writing them down along with positive things in your life is a great way to do this.
DID YOU KNOW? According to research, spending a few minutes thinking about your best qualities before an event you feel worried about can calm your nerves, increase your confidence, and improve your chances of a successful outcome. Why not try this before your next big soccer game?
4 - You may already notice that exercise can have a positive impact on your mood, and it’s scientifically proven! Even on days when you’re not practicing soccer, it may help to get in that extra 30 minutes of exercise if you’re feeling low.
DID YOU KNOW? Exercise is one of the most successful treatments for depression. Research has shown that regular exercise can often be the equivalent of many drugs commonly used to treat depression.
5 - All athletes are required to take proper care of their bodies and be mindful of the fuel they put into it for optimal performance, but this could also help towards optimal mental health! Colin suggests that “getting advice on how to be healthier in what you eat a drink and will naturally make you feel better and more relaxed”.
DID YOU KNOW? A study at University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria revealed that those who regularly consumed fast food were 51% more likely to develop depression, compared to those who eat little or none.
6 - Taking some time out of your day to breathe and relax can be a huge help. Colin says: “this is very effective at releasing those stress and anxiety chemicals that are in your body”.
DID YOU KNOW? There are lots of beneficial techniques and breathing exercises to combat stress. If you would like to explore them further, try this article from Healthline.com.
7 - Doing what makes you happy is extremely important! Surround yourself with the right people, have a positive mindset and always keep your own happiness at the forefront of your choices.
DID YOU KNOW? Your coaches at 7 Elite Academy are always there to listen if you have any issues both on and off the pitch. If these tips don’t work for you, there are always people who will listen and help you get the right advice you need.