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Anxiety and Stress This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
del677 Offline
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Watching Football = Anxiety? - February 6th 2017, 07:56 AM

My team lost.

Actually I don't have a team. I don't follow sports. But Superbowl parties with my friends who do watch football are fun.

There's lots of food, most of which probably isn't healthy for me, but you know, fun.

Everyone is rooting for the red team, so I root for them too.

Then my team is ahead, 28 to 3. I pretend to be happy, but really I feel sad for the other team. Poor Tom Brady, he won't win 5 Superbowl games. He's just embarrassingly bad today.

Then the other team catches up. Now I'm anxious. They are catching up!

Who likes watching football anyway? Why? I either feel sad because one team is losing, or I feel anxious because it's a close game. I don't like either feeling!

I wish I could enjoy watching sports like everyone else. It seems like a good way to be social and meet other people.

Other people seem to enjoy watching sports. What do they feel instead of anxiety? Or maybe they enjoy feeling anxious. Do they feel sad for the losing team?

I'm apparently different.

I'm happy the other team made a spectacular comeback. At least Tom Brady had to fight hard for that win. If he can make a comeback from deep in the valley of despair, maybe I can too.

But I'm also sad the red team lost. And I'm sad the game made me anxious. Maybe next time the two competing teams could just come out, shake hands, and make friends with each other. Then they could make friends with the audience. Then everybody could be happy, the audience can make friends with each other, then everyone can cooperate, carrying the ball gently on a satin pillow back and forth across the field.

That way no one is anxious, everyone makes new friends, romances are kindled, Superbowl babies are lovingly conceived, rainbows and unicorns fill the sky, and the whole world is impressed with how sweet and gentle and kind and loving we are, and how we're so very good at cooperating and generating kindness and compassion.

Instead I ate a bunch of unhealthy food, felt sad, got anxious, and my team lost.

I really don't get the appeal of sports.
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Watching Football = Anxiety? - February 6th 2017, 04:35 PM

Firstly, it's okay to not like sports. Though sporting events can seem like really big things many people aren't interested in sports either. There's nothing wrong with that.

It's interesting that you feel bad about the other team losing. I guess since you aren't interested in sports, you can take an 'outsider' perspective and realise that the your team put in a lot of effort but still lost and that there are many fans who will be disappointed. It sounds like you have great empathy skills and there's nothing wrong with that.

Anxiety during sport events, I imagine, is common. I remember playing video games of car racing and the first few times I played, my heart was racing, and I would be anxious and excited of whether I would win or loose and when I lost I felt so disappointed. When I won, I also wondered about the people behind their screens and how they would feel now that they lost and I won. But the more I played, I noticed something. The less 'intense' my emotional reactions were. Now I no longer cared whether I won or lost and instead just hoped for the best. I still occasionally feel for the other players, but there's nothing wrong with that at all.

Perhaps if you still want to go along and make friends, then I guess the more exposure to sport events you have, the less you'll feel anxious about it. If not, perhaps you can skip the actual sport event and join in later on? There's no need to try to force yourself t like something if it really doesn't appeal to you.

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del677 Offline
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Re: Watching Football = Anxiety? - February 8th 2017, 08:08 AM

Thank you

Good point: I was so focused on the outcome, as if the fate of the world was at stake, I wasn't present so I could enjoy the game.

Next time I won't chose a side and care about the outcome.

Weird I have so much empathy, when empathy is supposedly something I lack.
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Re: Watching Football = Anxiety? - February 8th 2017, 07:15 PM

My username is based on my love of the University of Michigan's football program.
In my opinion, the anxiety is the best part of the game. It gets you invested, and when you win, you get an awesome sense of euphoria. I was rooting for the Patriots because Tom Brady went to Michigan, so I got that euphoria. But even with losing, the crushing disappointment that comes with it makes all victories after that better. Winning all the time would be boring. I'd stop watching if Michigan always won. Sports arent about protecting anyones feelings, its about competing and becoming a champion. You can't do that if everyone is being nice and handing out participation trophies. That's no excuse for bad sportsmanship of course, but as an athlete and former football player, nothing is more fulfilling than victory.
I did feel bad for the Falcons. Tom Brady already won 4 times, the Falcons have never won, and Atlanta generally has bad sports teams. And also, every football player dreams of winning the Super Bowl, not blowing a massive lead and letting down everyone. However, the greatest football player of all time went to MY school. I definitely had a horse in this race.
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