Relax Yahoo Life is a wellness series in which experts, influencers, and celebrities share their approach to health and wellness Psychological healthFrom self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries for mantras that keep her afloat.
The path to becoming a professional athlete – from child prodigy to winning two Masters and competing in the Olympics – wasn’t necessarily easy for golfer Bubba Watson. With success came criticism and criticism came anxiety.
In his new book, Up and Down: Triumphs and Struggles in the Path of LifeAnd Watson opens up about his debilitating anxiety attacks, the death of his namesake father, the adoption of his children, and how reaching a breaking point professionally and personally brought him closer to his family and his faith.
Yahoo Life met Watson as he spoke from his Florida home about finding relief in CBD use for his anxiety — and how he made sure it didn’t affect his performance — and how he became more comfortable talking about mental health with the media.
I’ve talked candidly about finding success in CBD to treat your anxiety as an alternative to prescription medications. How did you make sure it didn’t affect your golf game? Were you worried about side effects?
I spoke to many doctors from all walks of life. The way my mind races, [doctors] He said it would help slow me down. They said it’s one of those weird situations where it can lift you up and help you sleep at night. It’s normal; It’s not a chemistry project. On the other end, privately, I tested the drugs myself and sent them to a specialized lab and made sure they were safe for both public and professional use. I was skeptical on all levels.
Wonderful. Have you tested drugs yourself?
I’ve gone above and beyond – but we’re talking about my livelihood and my personal life. How do I talk to the media about failing a drug test?! I can only talk to one company [cbdMD, with whom he’s had an endorsement deal since 2019]; I can’t vouch for anyone else.
What is your approach to mental health?
I think we’ve all dealt with mentally stressful situations. Rest and hydration are what any doctor will tell you. Make sure you get enough water and get enough rest. and work out. These things have pulled me from the lowest point in my life, as well as my faith, my team, and my family. I try to learn from my mistakes and catch up on the darkest hours [stressful triggers] Before it happens…if I am inundated with so many interviews, so many rounds of golf. I make sure I eat the right foods and exercise. I’m trying! I’m taking precautions to help me – I hope so will help people [better themselves].
Do you have any other self-care rituals to help you reset?
Deep breathing exercises. I got really nervous about [golf] a path. It was new to me: Breathing from your belly and not your shoulders, to get more oxygen… I learned the techniques — breathing, counting, filling your belly, breathing in at the same speed and repeating — and using that to not react emotionally. Instead of yelling or getting upset at someone, let’s take a deep breath and think. It just slows me down thinking about my answer or my reaction.
Breathing works in two parts in this way. Golf is an incredibly mental game. When you’re not playing, what stresses you out?
So many things pop up! Fake people on social media [stresses me out]. post things [on social media] But I no longer read comments – or look at interviews or articles of mine. Mentally, it helped me.
What brings you joy?
My 9 year old son is playing soccer and there is no greater fun than seeing him pump his fist to the side without me knowing I am watching. It’s so cool seeing that reaction…and my girl! Dakota scored four goals in her last football game/watching her bloom and fall in love with something… It’s not about the sport. We know they love it because my wife and I have never played soccer or soccer [laughs]! My joy is spending time with my family. They are my headlights.
What advice do you carry with you?
This one’s tough. Someone asked me: “What is your identity in life?“ More often than not, I tend to golf as an identity, but that’s exactly what I do. The advice is, “Find your identityNS. “ What do you want to know about?
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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