While being nervous before a triathlon is perfectly understandable, sometimes our worries and anxieties can overwhelm us. For some triathletes, those worries affect their participation in events. Here is a brief list of techniques that can help triathletes keep it all in perspective and alleviate those anxious moments:
- Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem. You can read the newspaper, listen to some music or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective. This is a great technique to use right before your next event.
- Remember that your fearful thoughts are exaggerated and can make the problem worse. A good way to manage your worry is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. (“What’s the worse thing that can happen if I get a flat tire? I lose some time while I change the tube.)
- Remember that all the worrying in the world will not change anything. Most of what we worry about never comes true. Instead of worrying about something that probably won’t happen, concentrate on what you are able to do.
- Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that you can carry around with you. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down. Whenever you feel stressed before your event, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.
- In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work and what you need to improve on to manage your fears and anxieties. For instance, you might have a lot of anxiety before your event and decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious, you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.
- Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, you will help yourself in the long run because you will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.
- It is not easy to deal with all of our fears and worries. When your fears and anxieties get the best of you, try to calm down and get the facts of the situation. The key is to take it slow. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best and, when something does happen, take it in stride. Take it one step at a time and things will work out.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods.”