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How Shifting Your Attention Can Be the Cure for Anxiety

“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.” ~Paulo Coelho

“Am I focusing too much on my anxiety?”

This very question weighed heavily on my mind as I found myself in yet another bout of anxiety. I was playing professional baseball at the time, and I just couldn’t seem to free myself from the constant and unending worrisome thoughts racing through my head.

A lot of these thoughts centered around how I would perform the next game. What my teammates were thinking of me, whether they saw me as a valuable part of the team. I often thought about why I was playing baseball and if I was wasting my time.

All of these worries did nothing but lead to further thoughts, centering around much of the same, leading to a terrible cycle.

This was not the first time I realized the presence of in my life. It has been something I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember.

In college, I even worked with a sport psychologist who taught me coping mechanisms to alleviate the anxiety I felt surrounding baseball.

We addressed my self-talk, with him generating a routine I could use the night before games. He also focused heavily on process goals. As focusing on the process, rather than the outcome, is a major way to reduce anxious thinking.

After completing a master’s in psychology and beginning work as a mental performance coach, I felt as though I had a solid understanding of how to cope with anxiety. Why was it then that I once again found myself in its grasp?

Well, the truth is, no matter how strong you build your mind and how much work you put in, anxiety will still find its way into your life. Some time

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Paulo Coelho

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