Helping you get through tough times

Stress at olympic proportions

Sick of the Olympics yet! Or are you finding yourself strangely drawn to it when you didn’t think you would? Either way there are numerous stories coming out from some truly inspiring athletes.

Olympic ringsThere’s a few lessons we can learn from all those taking part about how they handle stress and pressure, but what some what some have had to overcome to be there is quite astonishing.

Irish gymnast Kieran Behan who performed last Saturday, unfortunately not making it into the the final eight qualifiers is no stranger to pressure and stress.

Learning to cope

From the age of 10 Kieran was in a wheelchair for 15 months after having a tumor removed from his legs. At 12 he was bound to a wheel chair again for a long time after an accident while preforming gymnastics. This was a stressful time in his life, but because of help from others, and his own determination he learned how to cope with it. He is now one of only two Irish gymnasts to have made it into the Olympics.

Recognising stress

Luckily, most of us will never have the pressures that Kieran has had to go through but we all have different stressful situations that we need to manage. Stress can be caused by many different reasons – a hard time at school, a hard time at home, or when having difficulties with friends. Sometimes we may feel stressed and not sure what the cause is. If you’re having a hard time figuring out why you’re stressed, keeping a journal can help. Each time you feel stressed-out, write down what’s on your mind. After a week or so, you should notice patterns.

Handling stress

Obviously, we can’t get rid of everything that stresses us out and feeling anxious about things can motivate us, studying for that exam, preparing for that interview. But sometimes the experience can all get a bit much and managing it doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Stress is something we all need to learn to manage to not let it overwhelm us.


If you’re feeling down, or don’t feel comfortable reaching out to a friend, try talking to someone you trust outside the event like a counsellor. Take a look at some tips for managing stress, you may even need these for some nail-biting events in the Olympics for the next two weeks.

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