How Following Sports Affects My Anxiety Level
This is part of my Blog Post Series: How To Thrive As An Adult
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, my family followed the ups and downs of two local teams: the 49ers and the Giants. We watched numerous games together. And each time the opposing team hit a home run or scored a touchdown, a few marbles dropped in my anxiety jar. It also started to fill whenever the score was close until the very end of the game. If my favorite team lost the game, I worried, Will they make the playoffs this year? And several marbles fell into my jar.
When it comes to anxiety, baseball is particularly problematic because teams play 162 games per season, and even the best teams lose 50 games. Throughout a season, hundreds of marbles were added.
These days, I ignore sports. It’s counterproductive to feel anxious about something when I do not influence the outcome. Granted, sometimes I’ll watch the Superbowl with my Dad and brothers, but I’m mostly there to critique commercials and munch on snacks. (Jalapeño chips, pepperoni on crackers, taquitos, and pico de gallo with hint-of-lime tortilla chips!)
On rare occasion, I’ll attend a sporting event with family, but I do it to spend time with them, not because I have a personal interest in the outcome of the game.
Besides, following a particular sports team is a strange affair. Players come and go at regular intervals; what is constant is the jersey. As my friend Matt likes to say, following sports is like rooting for laundry. And that’s nothing worth feeling anxious over.
Be well, my friend.