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Being an England fan is a stressful business… and millions of supporters will be feeling the tension again tomorrow night for the Euro 2020 Final.
So James Moore has put together the ultimate stress-busting guide with a squad of 11 soccer-themed tips to help you stay calm…
- Phwoar Phwoar Phew: Romping lowers stress hormone levels. TV body language expert Judi James agrees that scoring before the game could ease anxiety. She says: “Sex is one of the best relaxants and can also help provide a handy diversion from pre-match nerves.”
- Do a number: Try counting backwards. It provides a mental distraction according to experts, with a German study identifying that doing it from 1,000 could reduce pain levels by half!
- Pace yourself: Gareth Southgate doesn’t sit still – and neither should you. Scientific studies show exercise boosts mood-boosting brain chemicals. Judi says: “Pacing, stretching, arm-waving and muscle-flexing is good during the match, plus pop out to run round the block at half time.”
- Chew are ya? Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson chewed gum during games and it really can ease stress, according to a Cardiff University study. Judi adds: “The chewing movement helps break down tension in the jaw muscle, relaxing the entire body.”
- Have a ball: Laughter blocks negative brain impulses. Judi says: “Humour is perfect for defusing and breaking tension.” Tommy Cooper once asked the Queen if she liked football. When she said: “Not particularly,” he replied: “Can I have your tickets to the Cup Final then?”
- Hum chance: Humming helps lower your blood pressure according to studies. Judi says channelling tunes such as Sweet Caroline, which has become one of the soundtracks to the tournament, can feel like “instant therapy.”
- Right formation: Don’t slump! Stand or sit proud with your shoulders back and chin up. Good posture reduces anxiety.
- Free tricks: Yoga lovers like to lie down with their feet up the wall to relieve stress. Blowing on your thumb for 30 seconds can also help, activating the vagus nerve to reduce your heart rate. Just don’t bite your nails. Judi says: “It’s self-attack. Hug or squeeze a half-inflated football instead.”
Fans say England will beat Italy in Euros final thanks to gloomy British weather
- Lift the cup: Drink some green tea, full of calming L-theanine, or munch on some dark chocolate or liquorice – both are linked to reducing stress hormones.
- Mutt win: Stroking your cat or dog for just 10 minutes can reduce your stress. You could even buy a fish tank. Looking at the critters zaps stress and muscle tension, according to a UK study.
- Life’s a pitch: Psychologists at Keele University showed swearing reduces pain. Judi says: “Don’t internalise. Let rip verbally with exactly how you are feeling.”
- Gareth Southgate
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- England Football Team
- Euro 2020
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