Whether you’re a 23-time Olympic gold medalist or Tony Soprano, stress can sneak up at the worst moments, which is when a little therapy goes a long way.
Retired U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps put his mind and body through a grinder en route to 28 total Olympic medals.
Looking back on his decorated career, Phelps values the importance of maintaining one’s mental health in order to reach greater heights. To reach this point, Phelps had to overcome his lowest moment as an athlete.
Phelps attested to going through a valley in 2014 when he was arrested for driving under the influence — it was Phelps’ second DUI.
“At that moment, I felt like the best thing for me to do was just to end my life because I was causing other people so much pain — myself included,” Phelps mentioned. “That’s when I really decided that I needed help.”
Since he retired from the Olympic stage in 2016, Phelps has used his platform to uplift others as they overcome their troubles with suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety.
Phelps encouraged a balance of physical and mental exercise to quell the stressors and to seek counsel before the anxiety swells rather than waiting for its peak.
“To be able to talk about what you’re feeling prevents you from carrying on that extra weight through life,” Phelps said. “I want my boys to be as prepared as they can be for whatever comes.”
He added, “I was always physically fit. Now I want to be mentally and physically fit. And if I can do both of those things, then I feel like I can conquer absolutely anything that’s thrown at me.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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