ADVICE FROM OLYMPIANS FOR TROUBLED YOUTH AND AT RISK TEENS ON HOW TO IMPROVE THEIR MENTAL HEALTH

There’s a great deal of anxiety and pressure that comes with sports, and many sports figures have lately been speaking out about their mental health struggles. If troubled youth and at-risk teens are struggling with their mental health, they can learn a lot from these Olympians, and how they manage their personal anxiety.

As Self reports, Olympians often need mental health assistance just like everyday people. They often see what’s known as sports psychologists and mental skills coaches. As one doctor who works with gold medal winner Mikaela Shiffrin says, “Just like training, you have to be able to train your mind as well.”

So listing how you can improve your mental health when you’re struggling with your mental health, one of the first steps is, “Just go ahead and expect to be nervous before a big event or presentation.” Anxiety is normal unless it overwhelms your life, and some anxiety can help you as well. As one psychologist recommends, “Rather than trying to get rid of the nerves, it’s more helpful to prepare for them and figure out how to perform with the nerves.”

Self also recommends, “Realize that even if the final outcome is out of your hands, there are some things you can control in the moment,” as well as, “imagine the worst-case scenario – and how you’d deal with it.” As Self writes, “The goal is to practice how you’ll respond to tough situations to prove to yourself that you can survive the worst. Walking yourself down all of these hypothetical paths can often help you feel like you have a bit more control over the situation.”

Other techniques that many dealing with anxiety are probably already familiar with include keeping a journal, which can release a lot of negative feelings out of your system, deep breathing exercises, and meditation. If it works for world-class Olympians, all these suggestions can probably help you as well.