How Michael Phelps Manages Stress

by Jeremy Spirogis
Michael Phelps, seated, smiling in front of a blue background

You could know him as one of many best Olympians to ever symbolize the United States, however Michael Phelps is a lot greater than that. Apart from being a world-class swimmer, Phelps has overcome the hurdle of affected by despair and nervousness all through his profession. He’s managed to battle by way of it and make it to the opposite facet efficiently. But what has he achieved and what are his methods for coping along with his psychological well being points? 

Michael Phelps’ profession overview

Michael Phelps, seated, smiling in front of a blue background
Michael Phelps |Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Images

Phelps holds the world document for many Olympic medals received by a single athlete. He has 23 gold medals with 13 particular person golds. Phelps acquired a spot on 5 Olympic groups, the primary male athlete to take action. He was additionally the oldest individual to win a gold medal in Olympic swimming historical past on the tender outdated age of 28.

Phelps holds 39 world information, which in and of itself is a document. He’s essentially the most completed swimmer in historical past. Due to his athletic prowess, Phelps could look like he’d be impervious to the pitfalls of tension. That assumption is wrong, nevertheless. 

How Michael Phelps has managed stress all through his profession

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Phelps has battled despair all through his life, however he discovered his low level after a 2014 DUI. At that time, Phelps even started to endure from suicidal ideas: 

“I questioned whether I wanted to be alive anymore…I realized that I’m the strongest person I know, but at that moment I was the weakest.”

Phelps was in a position to recuperate by way of remedy (extra on that beneath) and by using some stress-relief methods. A couple of of these embrace: 

  • Lion breaths. This is one thing Phelps and his spouse have taught their son, Boomer, easy methods to do. It entails taking as deep a breath as attainable adopted by one huge exhale. 
  • He identifies his feelings. When experiencing nervousness, Phelps takes a second to take inventory of precisely why he’s feeling the way in which he’s. He identifies the emotion he’s experiencing for the time being.
  • Exercise. Phelps cites understanding as an vital exercise in managing stress. 
  • Not listening to critics. As somebody within the public eye, Phelps has his fair proportion of detractors and naysayers. He’s realized to tune them out and ignore them, not feeling accountable to them to elucidate himself. 
  • He asks for assist. Phelps has realized to look to somebody he trusts – whether or not that’s household, associates, or a therapist – to lean on when he’s experiencing nervousness. 
  • Self-acceptance. Phelps has realized to not try and battle his stress, accepting that typically he simply wasn’t going to be OK – and that was OK.

Michael Phelps’ digital partnership helps him higher handle stress

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One of the largest breakthroughs Phelps underwent in his battle with nervousness is his choice to pursue remedy. As a hyper-competitive athlete, Phelps had beforehand resisted the urge to go to remedy. It was when he accepted that it was one thing that might assist him that he made the constructive option to go: 

“Prior to going to therapy, I never wanted to do it…It wasn’t something I wanted, to go and sit on a couch and have a conversation. I was always somebody who tried to find ways myself to do it and was very stubborn for a long time and had a hard time communicating.”

Connecting with a therapist helped Phelps open up, change into susceptible, and get assist. Phelps has change into a spokesman for TalkSpace, an app that enables its customers to satisfy with skilled therapists in a protected, reliable setting by way of texting, audio, or video chat. As extra folks look to their telephones for extra items and companies, extra digital remedy companies have gotten out there equivalent to HigherHelp, Lantern, 7 Cups of Tea, and others. Phelps is an effective instance of a hit story for these varieties of apps. 

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