How to deal with PT test anxiety?

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This post answers: How to deal with PT test anxiety? What is PT anxiety? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? What are the causes of anxiety? What are some ways to manage anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

How to deal with PT test anxiety?

Below are some tips that people with physical testing anxiety may follow in order to manage their anxiety.

Face it

It may seem like an unwise and harsh thing to tell someone with PT anxiety to face it, but it’s absolutely necessary. It’s impossible to get out of PT anxiety if one is not psychologically ready to embrace one’s physical potential. You always consider yourself weaker than you are. This makes it harder for you to face the challenges that these physical fitness tests put in front of you.

Make sure you are well prepared

Just as people usually underestimate their physical strength and fitness, they overestimate their preparation. You think you have prepared for the test while you actually haven’t. Get out of this illusion. Be realistic about your potential and your preparation.

Assess yourself before your employer does so. Assess yourself and see what the things that you lack in yourself are. And then focus on fulfilling those things, whether it’s through diet, exercise, or any other legitimate means.

Also, you are up for a physical test, so stop reading and studying stuff regarding the physical test and engage yourself in physical preparation. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read about physical fitness tests; it means that your primary focus should be physical activities rather than studying and reading.

Wherever you are rehearsing, whether it’s a local ground, a park, or your home, consider it your testing center. And be habitual about it. Do the physical activities that you want to do on a regular basis.

Keep testing yourself regularly

You have to keep track of the improvements you make, the improvements you need to make, and the immediacy and importance of those improvements. This requires that you regularly test yourself. It would be great if you take a PT once every week. This would give you a weekly record of your progress.  

Focus on time

Time scares the hell out of most of us. Make your stopwatch your best friend when you are preparing for the test. Make sure you are able to complete the physical activities earlier than the required time on your physical fitness tests. This would give you some confidence because now you know you can complete those activities on time, if not before that.

Take care of yourself

Focus on both your mental and physical health. Review your diet and make sure it is healthy. Focus on your sleep patterns because that’s a must. Drink some water before the test, and also generally try to stay hydrated throughout your day.

Rest on the evening before your physical fitness test

When it’s the last day, and you have your physical fitness test tomorrow, take some rest on that day. Do not engage in rigorous exercise that day. And trust in your preparation. Also, make sure you take proper rest, sleep, and eat properly on the evening before your physical fitness test.

Relax

Staying relaxed in the face of a stressful situation can ensure you a fifty percent win. If you freak out, you have already lost. So, make sure you take some deep breaths before your test begins. Think positive at that moment and believe that you can do it.

What is PT anxiety?

PT in mental health and psychology refers to “Physical testing”. So, PT anxiety is the anxiety regarding physical fitness. Many jobs, such as those of the military, require employees to be physically fit. They administer a series of tests on candidates to assess their level of physical fitness.

The reason is that in those jobs, one cannot work efficiently without being physically fit. In order for you to get selected and be successful, you have to be physically fit according to their standards.

However, most people get anxious when they hear about physical fitness. They underestimate their potential, which makes them feel weak and incompetent. They are worried that they will not get selected.

 What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as 

  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. However, it is noted that many people experience anxiety attacks that are not significantly displayed.

What are the causes of anxiety?

Anxiety often results from accumulated stress or overwhelming feelings. Some common causes of anxiety include.

  • Increased and challenging situations and demands in day-to-day life.
  • Major changes in family dynamics such as marriage, divorce, death of a loved one.
  • Strain interpersonal relationships
  • Intrapersonal conflicts
  • Ineffective coping mechanisms
  • Comorbid conditions both physical and mental
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Genetic factors
  • Changes in the brain region
  • Overdose of caffeine
  • Prolonged use of medications
  • Significant traumatic experiences in the past or recent times
  • Comorbid mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder or any other phobias.

What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques

 

Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.

Socialization

 

A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy

 

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

Medication

Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time

Conclusion:

Most of us underestimate our level of physical fitness, especially when it comes to physical fitness tests. And, most of us overestimate our levels of preparation. This gives us immense anxiety when we are preparing for a physical test. The way out of that anxiety is to stay realistic, prepare well, believe in oneself, and take care of one’s physical and mental health.

Frequently asked questions: How to deal with PT test anxiety?

Is it a good idea to take anabolic steroids to overcome physical fitness test anxiety?

Absolutely not,Anabolic steroids may make you muscular and vascular, but they will ruin your mental health. They will give you more anxiety than your physical fitness test can. They are also not good for your physical fitness per se, and they could be easily detected in a blood test, which will disqualify you for sure.

Can meditation help us overcome physical fitness test anxiety?

Yes, it can help you decrease your anxiety. However, it cannot improve your physical fitness. You have to do the physical fitness exercises and keep a meditation routine along with it.

Should we eat more during our physical fitness test preparation?

No, you should eat as much as your body requirements are and preferably drink a bit more than you usually do.

Citations:

https://www.military.com/military-fitness/fitness-test-prep/physical-fitness-test-anxiety
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00468/full

http://www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/pftanxiety.htm

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