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March Madness

March Madness

by Holly Foreman - March 26, 2014

March has many health & wellness observances including nutrition awareness, but if you are like me, you think of March Madness every year when this month rolls around. It’s the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and it guarantees madness, upsets and surprises.

Leading up to the tournament, millions of people fill out brackets that go from 68 teams to a National Champion in less than a month. Some people are extremely serious about making picks for each game and others might pick winning teams based on team color or the mascot.

I wouldn’t say I do too much research each year to fill out my bracket, but I do follow the sport and watch games throughout the season.

With that being said, here are a few facts about me: I stress out and I am competitive.

These two things always cause me some problems this time of year.

As I started filling out my bracket, I think about coaching and who teams have played during the season.

“I like that team, so I want to pick them.”

“Oh, but who is going to be the Cinderella and upset a top team because that usually happens.”

Then I think “Holly, don’t overanalyze it… go with your instinct. Wait, which team was my first instinct?”

Then the games start and my stress levels rise even more. I watch the games and my competitive side comes out. I am cheering for the team I picked because I need points in my bracket. I need points so I can beat my family and friends I am up against in different bracket challenges!

As much as I think about it, I am stressed about something I have absolutely no control over. I cannot control the outcome of the game or who will be the National Champion.

So why do we stress about things we cannot control?

We all face stress in our lives and we must develop coping strategies to manage our stress. We must learn ways to avoid it, alter it, adapt to it or accept it.

By picking one of these strategies, we are better able to manage stress in a healthier way.

Not only can we develop coping strategies to handle stress, but maybe we need to change our perception of stress.

So when I sit down to watch the Sweet 16 this weekend, I will remind myself this is avoidable stress. I can enjoy the games, avoid the stressors and hopefully score more points in my bracket to regain the lead from my brother-in-law in the family bet!


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