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Brandon Brooks of the Philadelphia Eagles Uses the 'Law of Averages' to Cope With His Anxiety

Anxiety can present in a lot of ways, and for many people, that includes physical manifestations. You’ve probably heard people talk about symptoms like feeling as though your heart is racing or you can’t breathe. But there are other physical symptoms that are less commonly talked about — like throwing up when you’re anxious.

Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks told Tonic that his anxiety makes him throw up, often before games. Brooks said he grew with the symptom, but didn’t think much of it until it became a much larger issue before games. He would end up in the hospital only to have tests come back normal.

“Somebody asked me, ‘You think it could be something mental?’ That never crossed my mind before,” he told Tonic. “I just never thought the human brain was that strong, that it could make you physically ill. But the brain is a powerful thing.”

After connecting the two, Brooks looked for ways to help him manage his anxiety and found that therapy was the best option for him. Through therapy, he started applying the “law of averages” to his own journey with anxiety.

The law of averages, he explained, means that some days you’ll perform or work at a 10 and other days you may perform at a 6, but that’s OK because no one can perform at a 10 every day. Bad days will happen, but they don’t have to cancel out the work and effort from good days.

“If you’re an eight out of ten player, some days you’re going to be ten out of ten, and some days you’re going to be six out of ten,” he said. “That’s just the way life goes.”

According to the American Psychological Association, 9 percent of men in the U.S. have depression or anxiety, but men are less likely to seek help than women. Of the 9 percent of men living with anxiety or depression, a third took medication to manage their symptoms and one in four sought help from a mental health professional.

Photo via Keith Allison