Are you a die-hard fan of a professional team? Does your face get all red when you’re watching do-or-die moments of your team in the finals? Are you a ball of nerves as the clock ticks down the last seconds of the game and your team is close to the win? It is important to know that sometimes fans of sports teams experience more stress than the players on the team.
People become so committed to and supportive of their favorite team, they can experience stress from watching the games. Especially when it comes to playoffs or championships, the do-or-die moments in games will send heart rates of fans through the roof.
No matter the level of the sport, fans get extremely emotionally connected to the team they are supporting. What happens is there is a sympathetic surge that occurs in the fans. The body’s reaction to stress is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and this system is kicked into high gear during games. Heart rates and blood pressure will go up causing the increase in the demand of oxygen on the heart and an actual decrease in the oxygen that is being delivered.
Here are some ways to cope during or after the game:
- Stay positive and keep positive thoughts
- Exercise has been proven to be a great stress reliever.
- Listen to music.
- Reminisce on happy moments in your life.
- Use a stress ball to help work out some of your stress and gain some hand strength in the process.
- Meditate. Use breathing practices to calm you and find your inner peace.
- Vent. Communicate your frustrations with a friend with similar interests. Get it out to help you feel better.
- Laughter is the best medicine. Watch a comedy show or spend time with a fun friend.
Some sports teams are even marketing on fan stress by developing stress relieving balls, dolls or toys with team logos on them, such as NBA Basketball Fan Stress-Relieving Dammit Dolls in team logos and colours.
It’s important to remember that although you are strongly connected with the team, you are not on the team and cannot influence the results of the game. It’s hard to believe while you’re watching the game but it really isn’t a life or death moment so it’s best to put things into perspective. Enjoy the excitement and drama of the game but try not to get too wrapped up in the result. Sports are for our entertainment and shouldn’t be causing more stress in our lives.
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