Spectator stress: tips to help you keep it together during the Rugby World Cup

2011-09-15 00:00

DRINKING beer seems the obvious solution to deal with spectator stress in closely-contested rugby matches, but with many World Cup games played before noon it’s probably not the best idea.

So what are the alternatives?

Psychotherapist Neville Hodgson says that when dealing with stress, it depends largely on the context.

At the pub there is usually a crowd mentality allowing for cathartic “shouting, screaming and blaming the ref”. But sitting alongside a spouse, child or loved one and yelling like a madman might not do much for family harmony.

Hodgson suggests a few subtle releases.

. Keep breathing: do not settle for shallow breaths, but inhale right down to the belly.

. Keep moving: stress is often held in the hands. Clenching a fist tightly and slowly releasing it can relieve some of the stress. Just don’t let the fist be misinterpreted. Getting out of the chair and stretching muscles is good too. “Don’t stew in your own juices,” Hodgson said.

.Talk to yourself: this might be more likely to attract puzzled stares, but a calm, positive and gentle conversation noting the stress and the circumstances surrounding it will make it easier to deal with.

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