Athletes In The Zone
Happy World Wellbeing Week 2021!
Updated: Aug 11, 2021
World Wellbeing is a truly holistic campaign to flourish and inspire. Holistic wellness explores the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and social well-being for optimal health, happiness and growth. Earlier this week we had asked our community on social media about what advice and tips would they want to better their holistic wellness. Below are our shared answers to your questions:
Every time I do a presentation or perform in front of a crowd, I feel a huge amount of anxiety. I am thinking about what other people are thinking about me. How can I ease my anxiety in these critical moments?
Firstly, it is important to recognise that you are focusing your attention outward and noticing other people’s reactions to you. As opposed to this, you want to focus your attention inwards, in other words, have an internal focus on your task and your performance. For example, my focus today is speaking slowly so that everyone in the audience can hear me. This is your performance goal and how you should judge yourself afterwards.
Furthermore, an hour before your presentation you need to prepare yourself to become centre focused and be in the present moment. An exercise you can do before hitting the stage is mindfulness. Listening to guided imagery or meditation will ease your anxiety, increase concentration levels and put you in a relaxed state of mind. Music is also another great strategy to get you in the bliss state of mind, channel your focus in the right direction and limit distractions.
I have read books and articles about the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. I find it hard to start in the present. I believe I need this however I am finding it difficult to start.
You have found the right strategy to help you stay in the present moment. From what I am hearing you are finding it hard for it to become an automatic habit. The first suggestion is to set a habit every day possibly in the morning to do some guided imagery or meditation for 30 seconds. Practice this every day in the week and then each week increase the timeframe by 30 seconds. Eventually, this will form into a habit and you will be able to stay still and focus on your breathing for a longer time. A second suggestion is to set out environmental cues, for example, setting out a pillow or yoga matt in a place that you will see. When you see environment cues you are less likely to avoid them as the cue reminds you of the activity.
I would like to connect deeper into my spirituality. How do I start my spiritual wellness journey?
1. Enhance your self-awareness: Watch yourself without judgement or psychoanalysis. You may not always like what you see but accept it and trust that awareness comes with change. New awareness comes with new information.
2. Silence yourself: Sit in silence and concentrate on your breath. Or try guided imagery or meditation for at least 5 minutes a day. Give your time away from the usual distractions and stimulations like phone, social media and TV and instead tune inwards.
3. Commit to your practice: Create discipline on the activity, whether this is sitting in silence, meditation, exercise, a walk, a yoga class - just do it, every day without fail.
4. Practice gratefulness: Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. It is good to write down 3 things you are grateful for either in the morning or the evening before you go to bed.
I am someone who opens and reads an email or message immediately even when I am in the middle of a task. Because I am in the middle of doing something, I normally read the message and forget to reply. How can I become better at this?
This is about having greater control and structure of your workload. You are allowing distractions to take control instead of controlling the distractions. When performing a task, it is very important to minimise distractions, for example, logging off from your emails / turning off your phone / putting your phone in aeroplane mode / placing your phone elsewhere on silent away from your task. Once you have completed your task, you can then return to your emails and messages in a less overwhelming emotional state.
If you do read a message or email accidentally and you cannot reply instantly. The best thing to do is to leave that message unread so that notification appears which reminds you to go back to the message in your own time.
The ultimate aim is to have control of your stress levels and the ability to work effectively and productively. This only comes by having control of your routines and the structure of your day by being highly organised and disciplined.
Is it true that some people are more of a “morning person/night person”? Meaning that they are more productive within a specific time of the day. If so, why? And can someone change the “type of person” they are?
What you are describing there is called chronotype. Whether you’re a morning or an evening person, this is shaped by many factors such as hormones, sunlight, age and even where on the planet you live. But it is possible to change your sleeping and waking up cycles.
It has been found that morning people are happier and has a huge part of what you accomplish. There’s a reason why Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 4 am and Michelle Obama rises at 4:30 am. It has been discovered that early risers are more productive.
Saying that you have to be aware of when your most productive and how long for and always create time to do so. You can change the type of person you are! That is possible!
What methods have you found to help reduce anxiety in the workplace?
Have control of your workload, what we mean by that is organise and prioritise really well so you will not feel overwhelmed. Take control of your workload.
1. Set clear objectives and discuss this with your manager.
2. Focus on 2-3 things max a week and put your intentions towards them.
3. Make a to-do list every day breaking down the goals and task into smaller/performance goals.
4. Form positive relationships and know who the right person to speak to about your anxiety or stress you are feeling about, knowing that they will help you. Positive relationships will keep you positive and your environment.
5. Start exercising, a great way to start your day and feel good. Exercise before work will make you feel good for the rest of the day and increase positive hormones.
What are the first signs to look for you know you need to make a change to improve your mental well-being?
1. When you not feeling confident when faced with new situations or people. Not being to manage with change or uncertainty.
2. When you do not feel optimistic
3. When you do not set goals
4. When you do not feel good about yourself and your self-esteem.
We believe mental health issues arise from the core. You need to have the courage to go there and be honest with yourself alongside having self-awareness. Once you have accepted it then it’s about transformation and changing your mental health.
How can one manage to live more in the present moment, appreciate what they have and not get caught up in the negative day to day things?
A lot of our training with athletes and business individuals is about getting them present and keeping that centre of focus!
Answer to your question:
1. Start your day off with gratefulness, ask yourself what are grateful for today?
2. Minimise things that are not keeping you in the present moment. It would be great to make a list of things that keep you in the present moment and things that do not. Then work slowly on the things that distract you and make you feel negative. Make the small change today!
3. Begin mindfulness practice for 1 minute for the first week then slowly increase it each week. Keep going at it, even if it is difficult. Do not give up on it! Just how you would be persistent in getting results physically you have to persistent in getting results mentally. Working on the unconscious and intangible is what we believe is what creates greater results.
4. To be more present, start your day off with a to-do list of 3-5 small tasks to achieve and focus your attention on them.
How I'll know that if my energy-in matches my energy out?
You will know when you attract people and situations that match your energy. Matching the energy of others tell you who you are!