The Antidote to Anxiety

By 3rd February 2019 July 2nd, 2020 No Comments

Seeing more and more posts, memes and quotes talking about anxiety recently in and out of BJJ.

What is anxiety and how do we do it?

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It could also then be described as a fear of the future. It is essentially a fear of what we think is going to happen at some point. The feeling of uncertainty towards an event that we maybe feel we have no control over.

As a feeling, it can be categorised as internal kinesthetic (kinesthetic being the mode in which we experience feelings) . When we are touching something we are using our external kinesthetic senses to experience it. Each sense (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory, olfactory) can be experienced internally or externally.

So, it is said that being “in the moment” or “in flow” can get rid of anxiety as you can’t be in the moment and in the future simultaneously. Which is where BJJ becomes the antidote.

How does Jiu Jitsu help

During Jiu Jitsu you are mentally taken away from the voices in your head. The anxious feelings are replaced with the need to problem solve what is happening. There can be any number of techniques, positions and submissions all going off at the same time and they all need as much of your attention as possible. Thoughts of the future aren’t an issue anymore when you want to pass a guard or submit someone from their back.

No one thinks it is easy to walk into an academy but don’t let the internal movie playing in your mind stop you from experiencing a get away like no other. The cliche that all of your growth is just outside your comfort zone has never been more appropriate.

This is not copied from any book or website, If you want to know more (whether you live in or around Sheffield/Mansfield or you live further away and just like the page) reach out to me privately and i’ll help any way I can. In the meantime, here’s the ways I’ve found to help the most people.

How to stop the pattern of anxiety

Firstly… how to get into the moment? 2 quick questions that will put us there.

1. Where am I? Here
2. What time is it? Now.

This is a quick fix that we can use to take our mind away from wondering.

Secondly…. and like everything of value… takes practice. The next time you feel anxious behaviours have been triggered (or as some people already know the things that trigger the feelings) practice this..

Think about how you are going to feel 5 minutes after the SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION of the thing you were doing the anxiety over. The way this works is it stops you following a negative thought pattern and with enough practice becomes easier and easier to do. Let me explain with an example…

Someone really wants to start training. They check the website and know the phone number… They’ve called and scheduled their first class with the instructor. And then the thought enters their mind that they’re going to have to actually take the step through the door. That’s when the thoughts start flowing “Everyone is going to see me…. I’m not going to know what i’m doing…. They’re gonna think I’m dumb….. etc” and that can be enough to stop someone coming in. The time to start practicing the technique was the moment they noticed the feeling.

“ssshhhhhh right, how will I actually feel 5 minutes after my first class is done? Good… Im proud of myself for taking the step. I really enjoyed the session and everyone was really nice. There was actually all different types of people there who were training for their own reasons. Some wanted fitness, others looked fit and just wanted a way to have a break from their own world for a while. I really did feel welcomed and as safe as they told me I would”

This practice has helped so many people with so many things and don’t take my word for it… Practice with something small first. Answering an unknown number… Opening an envelope you don’t recognise… and stretch yourself from there. All of the growth is outside of your comfort zone. To be the person you might want to be, you have to do the things that person can do.

As always…. hit me up. If I can help, I will.

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