Stress is a hot topic right now, talked about a lot in relation to our new COVID-19 existence, but from a sporting perspective it’s nothing new, something that sportspeople of all levels have to deal with daily. 

So, with the topic of stress coming up so often, here is our list of easy ways for how to relieve stress and get on with life (and sporting success).  

How to Relieve Stress

Top 10 Ways to Relieve Stress

1. Listen to Music

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, it can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol (a hormone linked to stress).

2. Talk to a Friend

When you’re feeling stressed, take a break and call a friend to talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are really important to any healthy lifestyle.

They’re especially important when you’re under a lot of stress or feeling isolated, something that is a real concern for many right now. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective and help you to get back on track.

3. Talk Yourself Through It

Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing.

Don’t worry about seeming crazy — just tell yourself why you’re stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay. Sometimes writing down your concern can be a good way to get them out of your head and help you plan to tackle them.

4. Eat Better

Stress levels and a proper diet are known to be closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and many will resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up.

Try to avoid sugary snacks that will cause spikes in your energy, instead  plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.

If you are at a loss in terms of your nutrition, please reach out to our Sports Dietitian and we can certainly help you with advice and better nutrition plans.

5. Learn to Laugh

Laughter releases endorphins that improve our mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy, so learn to make yourself laugh.

6. Drink Green Tea

A large dose of caffeine causes a short-term spike in blood pressure. It may also cause your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to go into overdrive.

Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try Green Tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.

7. Be Mindful

Most of the tips we’ve suggested provide immediate relief, but there are also many lifestyle changes that can be more effective in the long run. The concept of “mindfulness” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health and has become popular recently.

From yoga and tai chi to meditation and Pilates, these systems of mindfulness incorporate physical and mental exercises that prevent stress from becoming a problem. Try joining a class or even find example techniques and classes online.

8. Exercise 

Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean power lifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the park or simply standing up to stretch during a break can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation.

Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously.

If you don’t know where to start with your exercise and training, get in touch with our team at Precision Athletica and let us guide you.

9. Focus on Better Sleep

Everyone knows stress can cause you to lose sleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This is a vicious cycle that causes the brain and body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time.

Make sure to get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, dim the lights, don’t sleep next to your phone and generally give yourself time to relax and shut down before going to bed.  

It may be the most effective stress buster on our list and with effort, better sleep is possible for all.

10. Learn to Breath

The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it holds true when it comes to stress and stressful situations. For centuries, Buddhist monks have been conscious of deliberate breathing during meditation.

For an easy three- to five-minute exercise, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest.

While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps centre your body, and clears your mind.

This is also something that you could incorporate into your sport, whether that’s prior to competition or prior to a shot, become aware of your breathing and learn how to control it.

Finally, learn to embrace stress…

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Too much untreated stress can cause potentially serious physical and mental health problems.

The good news is that in many cases, stress is manageable. With some patience and a few useful strategies, you can reduce your stress. 

Also, keep in mind that stress around sport can be a great sign – if it’s stress caused from competing and being in a position to win, this is something that you should strive to feel, so embrace it and practice visualising how to succeed in the moment. 

If you found this article about how to relieve stress interesting and feel that Precision Athletica could in someway help and support you, please contact us directly or leave a comment below.

How Do I Book an Appointment with Precision Athletica for Help?

We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call our bookings team to schedule a session:

Online Consultations

Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state-of-the-art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help! Online consultations would be especially effective if you’re feeling isolated and need support even though you may not be local. Rest assured that we have many clients working with us who are not based in Sydney and the results have been great.

To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.

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