9 May 2023
As weightlifters, the pressure to perform can be overwhelming. Below are some tips to help you cope with anxiety and to help you perform at your best on and off the gym platform
🫁Focus on your breathing
When you’re having anxious thoughts try focusing on your breathing, concentrating on the feeling of your body as you breathe in and out. It can help you control your thought.
📔 Keep a diary
It’s important that we don’t try to ignore our worries. Taking the time to keep a record of what’s happening in your life and how it’s affecting you can help you understand what is triggering your feelings of anxiety whether this is on or off the platform. Knowing this can help you better prepare for and manage situations that may cause anxiety.
❓ Challenge your thoughts
Anxiety can lead us to think about things over and over again in our brain. This is called ‘rumination’ and it’s not helpful. When you catch yourself ruminating try to write down the thought and to challenge it. Is what you’re worrying about likely to happen? Are you being realistic? Have you had similar thoughts which have not turned into reality? This can make it easier to challenge your thoughts and stop them from overwhelming you.
🧠 Acknowledge the Journey
Weightlifting is about progress, not perfection. Celebrate every step forward and be kind to yourself during setbacks. Setting goals is important for any athlete, but it's important to make sure they are realistic and achievable. Unrealistic goals can lead to feelings of failure and anxiety. Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps, and celebrate each achievement along the way.
🤝 Support System
Anxiety can feel very lonely, connecting with other people can help a lot. Reach out to a coach, teammate, or friend about what you're going through who understands the unique challenges an athlete faces. If you’re able to talk to people about how you feel, it can help to reduce your anxiety. Sometimes saying what’s worrying you out loud can take away its power over you.
🌱 Balance is Key
Remember, weightlifting is just one aspect of your life. Make time for life outside the gym; self-care, hobbies, and relationships. Find a balance that supports your mental and emotional well-being alongside your training.
🌞 Get outside
Don't underestimate the power of fresh air and nature. Take your session outside, go for a walk, or enjoy the sun. Connecting with the outdoors can help you feel calmer and less stressed.
💤 Rest and Recovery
Listen to your body and prioritise quality sleep, relaxation, and mindfulness practices.
💡 Seek Help
If you're struggling with your mental health, remember, you're not alone. Reach out to mental health professionals, links and resources are available below.
Together, we can lift each other up, both on and off the platform.
Mental Health Foundation
NHS Mental Health Services
If you or someone else is in danger, call 999 or go to A&E now. If you need help urgently for your mental health, but it's not an emergency, get help from NHS 111 online or call 111
Sport in MIND
Free, professional mental health support for all representative sports people aged 16 or over, based in the United Kingdom.
Call 116 123 for free
Need support in Welsh? Call 0808 164 0123