Percy Harvin, one of the most aggressive NFL players and an electrifying member of the Minnesota Vikings, made such an impact in the game that he was declared NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2009. Despite earning accolades for his performance early on, Harvin struggled to sustain his success and soon bade farewell to the football league after the end of the 2016 season. In a recent candid interview with the Sports Illustrated (SI), Harvin talked about some of the decisions that he took, his migraine and crippling anxiety.
Along with the excruciatingly painful migraines, Harvin spoke about anxiety that plagued him throughout his life. He said that he would feel “out of body”, would have a racing heart and would sweat profusely with slurred speech. He would not want to eat, would gasp for air and feel that everyone in the room was looking at him. In such a state, he found it extremely difficult to speak. “You’re so worked up that it’s hard to spit words out,” he said.
Inspired by NBA stars talking about mental health
When other NBA stars like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love talked about mental health, it encouraged Harvin also to accept his mental illness and talk about it. “The whole journey has been surprising…I’m comfortable talking about it…’cause it’s gonna help somebody,” he told the SI.
Harvin said he wished he had been more patient with people in the past. He realized that he had misbehaved with many on account of his impulsive nature. He shared that he was an “in the moment kind of guy” who wanted things to happen instantly. Gradually, he had come to accept things as they unfolded, thanks to his mother telling him to slow down and trust the process.
He also shared that he still had days when he created anxious situations for himself, but now instead of being mad the whole day, he knew how to sit back and relax. In the past, he admitted to having problems with one of his coaches as he was a perfectionist and that “drove him crazy.”
Anxiety can be managed
Anxiety affects nearly 40 million people in the United States. However, it is a treatable disorder and a few self-help strategies can assist one in managing the disorder. Some of these strategies are:
- Take one day at a time. Thinking about the past and the future over which one has no control can only trigger anxiety.
- Practice mindfulness. Stop for a moment and do some deep breathing exercises.
- Keep a journal of one’s fears and doubts. This can help a person vent out pent up feelings and reflect on them, becoming aware of his/her emotional health in the process.
- Practice relaxing therapies like yoga, meditation, tai-chi, etc.
- Join online and offline support groups to stay connected with like-minded people.
Seek professional help for anxiety
Anxiety is an incapacitating disorder that can severely affect one’s quality of life. It is therefore advisable to seek immediate professional treatment for it. An effective treatment plan for anxiety disorder may comprise medication, counselling and therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
In case, you know someone battling generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and is planning to connect with a comprehensive and affordable rehab facility, Sovereign Health can help. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 973-7164 to get connected with the finest treatment centers for anxiety disorder. You can even chat online with our admission counselor for more information on anxiety disorders treatment.