How to Reduce Your Anxiety With NBA Player Kyle Guy

Kyle guy

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews experts, authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Kyle Guy

Kyle Guy is an NBA player who first made headlines when he led the University of Virginia Cavaliers to their first ever national championship. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2019 and he’s also played for the Golden State Warriors.

Why Kyle Guy Is Mentally Strong

Kyle began publicly talking about his anxiety while he was still in college. He made national headlines when he revealed the struggles he experienced as well as the help he was getting to manage his symptoms.

He told people he tried medication, talked to a therapist, and is working on self-improvement strategies that could help him feel better. He bravely shared how bad things had gotten for him at times.

He continues to talk openly about the struggles he’s experiencing and the steps he’s taking to build mental strength both off and on the court.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • The anxiety symptoms Kyle experienced
  • What happened when he told people he had anxiety (and why he hid it for so long)
  • How he became willing to see a therapist
  • How he uses strategies like meditation and journaling to keep his anxiety at bay
  • How he’s learned to stop focusing on things he can’t control
  • The strategies that help him stay focused on the things that are most important to him
  • The questions Kyle asks himself when he begins to feel anxious
  • Why he decided to take medication and why he ultimately stopped taking it
  • How he concentrates on the things he can control
  • How delegating tasks to others ultimately helps him manage his anxiety
  • How Kyle protects his emotional energy
  • How to experiment with different coping skills until you discover what works for you
  • Why it’s so important to keep an open mind about which strategies might work best 
  • How Kyle recovers from mistakes
  • How he deals with rejection

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

So often people assume a mental health issue, like anxiety, is a sign of weakness. But individuals with mental health issues can be quite mentally strong.

Building mental strength involves choosing to do exercises that help you think, feel, and do your best. Activities like journaling, talking to a therapist, and exercising can all build mental strength, regardless of whether you have a mental health problem.

Kyle is proof that anyone can develop a mental health problem. Despite being an elite athlete who knows how to perform on the court under pressure, he struggled with panic attacks and generalized anxiety. But he also shows how to take the steps necessary to manage anxiety in a healthy way.

Quotes From Kyle

Kyle Guy

The biggest thing I've learned is how to protect my energy. It's draining being anxious all the time and it's emotionally draining to give every single thing attention.

— Kyle Guy
  • "That whole year I was operating at like 70% because I had so much weighing on me."
  • "If you think you have anxiety, put a name to it and then start figuring out ways [to manage it] that work for you."
  • "Nothing's going to work if you do it close-minded."
  • "Sometimes it'll get worse before it gets better."

More About the Podcast

The Verywell Mind Podcast is available across all streaming platforms. If you like the show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Links and Resources

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.