Stress is a prevalent element in most people’s lives, and learning how to cope with it is in everyone’s interest. According to statistics from the American Institute of Stress, 33% of people suffer from extreme stress, 77% experience stress to levels that affects their physical health and 73% suffer from stress-related mental health issues. Stress is also a major factor that affects people in high-stress positions. This article covers tips shared by NFL quarterback Justin Fields for remaining calm in high-stress situations.
If you’re struggling to cope with stress and feel like you’re running out of options, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Knowing when it’s time to seek professional advice is paramount to a successful recovery.
A Brief History of Justin Fields’ Career
Justin Fields was born in Kennesaw, Georgia, in 1999. He began his football career as a quarterback at Harrison High School, leading the team to a state championship in 2016. In 2017, he enrolled at Ohio State University, where he played for two seasons. In 2019, he was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 41 touchdown passes and three interceptions. Following the season, he declared for the NFL Draft and was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 11th pick. He’s currently expected to serve as the backup to starter Mitchell Trubisky. But due to his strong arm and athleticism, many believe he has the potential to be a starter in the NFL one day.
Justin’s Struggle With Anxiety
Justin Fields found out he had epilepsy when he was in the ninth grade. The diagnosis came as a shock, but Fields was determined to manage his condition and continue playing football. He took medication to control his seizures and underwent surgery to remove a small section of his brain that was causing the seizures. These measures were successful, and Fields has not had a seizure since his surgery. But the anxiety that comes with managing a chronic medical condition has remained.
In an interview with ESPN, Fields spoke about how he has coped with anxiety in both his personal life and his professional career. He explained that he tries to live a healthy lifestyle and stay positive, even when things are tough. He also spoke about the importance of seeking help from a mental health professional when needed. This is something Fields says has been essential for him in managing his anxiety and staying on top of his mental health. Fields is an advocate for managing mental health and epilepsy. He’s an example of how it’s possible to thrive despite the challenges of living a high-stress life and suffering from a medical condition.
Mental Health Issues in High-Stress Positions
NFL players are under an immense amount of pressure to perform at a high level on a weekly basis. The constant stress of having to meet expectations can diminish mental health, leading to anxiety, chronic stress, depression or substance use disorder. NFL players aren’t the only ones who experience this type of pressure; it’s common in other high-stress positions as well. For example, surgeons must remain calm while performing life-saving procedures; air traffic controllers must be able to concentrate during high-pressure moments.
Stressful situations trigger cortisol release, and while a little bit can be conducive to memory and productivity, too much is destructive. Let’s explore why it’s important to manage stress in high-performance positions and see what Justin Fields has to say about how to manage stress.
Why Is It Important to Manage Stress?
While mental health is often overlooked in high-stress positions, it’s essential for maintaining peak performance. When mental health isn’t addressed, it can lead to increased stress levels and poorer decision-making. So it’s important for people in high-stress positions to know the signs of mental health problems and seek help when needed. By taking care of their mental health, professionals working in high-stress jobs can ensure they’re able to perform at their best.
How Did Justin Fields Combat Anxiety?
It’s always interesting to hear how celebrities and world-class athletes cope with stressful situations and being under constant public scrutiny. While they probably all have unique methods, there’s still something to be learned from listening to how others manage stress. Whether it’s your mother, your colleague or a quarterback NFL player, tips for managing stressful situations can change lives. Here’s how Justin Fields bears the weight of pressure, remaining calm even when stress is high.
When asked about how he keeps a cool head during games, Justin states, “Honestly, if I’m being real, I think it has something to do with my breathing.” He also says, “I’ve been working on my breathing during games, like, in slow [for] four seconds and out slow. I think just doing that automatically keeps me more calm in the pocket and really just during the game.”
Fields says he learned his breathing techniques from a yoga instructor. It’s nice that he acknowledges using techniques that some might consider an exercise meant for women. Yoga is like kryptonite to stress, and it has many proven benefits.
A large body of scientific research has shown that yoga can have a positive impact on mental health. Yoga involves the practice of
- Physical postures
- Breathing exercises
These activities have been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and promote relaxation. Yoga can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, yoga has been found to improve cognitive function and increase self-awareness. Taken together, these studies suggest that yoga is an effective tool for improving mental health.
Stars Breaking Stigma
Justin Fields is a quarterback for the NFL’s Chicago Bears. He’s also living with epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes seizures. Fields spoke about how he manages his anxiety and mental health in a high-stress job where performance is everything. He mentions using his breathing as a tool to stay calm and collected during high-stress games. He is an advocate for mental health awareness and has spoken out about the importance of seeking help if you’re struggling.
His openness and willingness to talk about his experience can help break down the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage others to seek help. If you’re struggling with stress and feel like you’re sinking, reach out to FHE for help.