Anxiety in the General Population vs. Athletes: Differential Causes and Treatments




Hewig, Carley

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Anxiety is the intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations and is often accompanied by fast heart rate, sweating, and feelings of tiredness. Everyone will experience anxiety sometime in their life, some people more than others. In today’s world, one important group of people that tends to suffer from anxiety is athletes. People tend to idolize them and put pressure on them to perform their absolute best. But at what cost? This research compares causes of anxiety in the general population versus athletes. Research shows that most anxiety in the general population is caused by things like sleep deprivation, being overcaffeinated, or sitting down for too long. On the other hand, athletes’ anxiety mainly stems from fear of failure, public scrutiny, impractical expectations, and so much more. This research also addresses the most commonly used techniques for treating anxiety in athletes versus the general public. Although some of these techniques can work for both – such as breathing techniques, positive self-talk, and muscle relaxation – there are treatments that are more specific for the primary causes of anxiety in athletes. Furthermore, this work explores the differences in causes of anxiety in individual versus team sport athletes and considers whether the treatment techniques differ. Lastly, to understand how this relates to athletes today, a case study is proposed, and a treatment plan is developed that works best for this athlete.



anxiety, general population, athletes, individual sport, team sport, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, imagery, multimodal model, neuro emotional technique, resonant frequency training, progressive relaxation, positive self-talk, mindfulness, confidence, imaging success, relaxation training


Hewig, C. (2023). Anxiety in the general population vs. athletes: Differential causes and treatments. Honors College, Texas State University.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI