Strategies to Deal with Stress and Anxiety
Modern life has many stress inducing events. Our day-to-day activities, our jobs, or other commitments can be causes of stress and anxiety in our lives. Here are some strategies that can be used to manage day-to-day stress, and they can also help when dealing with anxiety inducing events.
Anxiety about an upcoming event, such as a Muay Thai fight or a job interview, can be reduced through proper preparation. Proper preparation is a key part of reducing anxiety about the event in question. Properly training for your fight, or practicing your speech over and over gives you some control over the situation. You can’t control what is going to happen, but you can control how ready you are to deal with the uncertainty through planning ahead.
Meditation can certainly help with stress reduction. Taking 15 minutes out of your day to relax and calm your mind and simply focus on breathing could help to keep the anxious thoughts at bay. Meditation is a way to practice controlling your mind and thoughts; thus allowing you to approach your problems from a more relaxed perspective. Meditating alone can be difficult for those who are inexperienced, so beginners should consider guided meditation, in which a trained facilitator prompts you to focus on controlling your breathing and which thoughts to consider or disregard.
Visualization is a strategy that can be used to address anxiety about a specific upcoming event. It is can be incorporated as part of meditation as well. You have adequately prepared yourself, and planned ahead, now you need to visualize your success. In the sporting context, a fight for example, visualization is the process of imagining the different scenarios that you could potentially run into and how you could handle them. You could visualize yourself slipping punches, landing kicks, or sweeping your opponent. But this can extend to other anxiety-inducing events, like public speaking, a job interview, or the big presentation at work. Imagine yourself delivering the speech or answering interview questions until you’ve got it down.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Your mind and body are intrinsically connected. It follows that your mind functions better when you are taking care of your body. Thus, if you eat well, exercise, and get proper sleep then your mind will react better to stress. Your mind operates better if you are fueling your body with proper nutrition, not garbage. Exercise is also part of a healthy lifestyle. Physical movement is an important part of stress relief, and there are added benefits if you are surrounded by supportive, encouraging people.
Self Affirmation or “Positive Self Talk”
Positive self talk is a strategy that helps some people deal with potentially stressful situations. It is literally talking to yourself and affirming that you can handle the challenge. Looking in the mirror and confidently telling yourself out loud that you’ve got this, or telling yourself that you’re going to win, impress the interviewer or nail the presentation could provide you with that boost that you need to get through the event.
Coach Patrick Wallace started boxing at the young age of 18. He fought 2 amateur boxing fights prior to making his transition into muay thai. His muay thai career consists of 22 amateur bouts including winning a North American Tournament in 2011 as well as final list in 2013. He works as a case manager for the LOFT Community service where he helps and changes the lives of thousands of individuals struggling with mental health, physical health and other addiction issues. He is also a coach at York Muay Thai where he is responsible for fighter development. He has a degree from York University in social work.