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How To Keep Your Cool At A Sports Game

It is that time of the year when the thermometer begins to drop to produce a nip in the air and the fall season is upon us. The kids are back to school and are struggling to adjust their sleep hours from summer to school time. A few things that I look forward to this up and coming fall season are chilly morning runs, the smell of cold air, the changing of the leaves, patio fireplace get-togethers, and football season. Especially here in Nebraska, the Cornhuskers are on center stage every weekend. This means going to Memorial Stadium to attend the game(s) or having the gang over to the house to watch the Huskers vie for a victory.

This is also the time of year where “passionate fans” can also lose their cool because their favorite team has lost the game. We have all witnessed this scene sometime in our life, whether in person or on a video on the internet. People yelling at the TV because the referee made a “horrible call”; or because the coach chose the wrong play that cost “us” the game; or because some 19-year-old quarterback throw a “stupid pass” into double coverage. On the extreme end of the spectrum, people throwing furniture or other objects at their expensive flat screen TVs and even physical violence at the game between rival fans.

It is okay to feel upset about your favorite team’s loss, but when your anger gets the best of you, it is not healthy for you and not enjoyable for those around you. Here are a few tips to control your anger while watching your favorite team:

  1. Pay attention to your Body: Your body is usually the first warning sign of anger. Most common body sensations that are associated with anger are flush face, clinching fist, clinching jaw, facial tension, and a surge of adrenaline/energy that shoots throughout the body. These are just common body sensations. Everyone may experience anger in different ways.
  2. Take some deep breaths: If you notice the aforementioned body sensations, taking deep breaths is one of the best ways to engage our minds and body to calm down. The type of deep breaths that are most helpful are “belly breaths.” “Belly breaths” are when we inhale through our nose for about three to five seconds and make our stomachs rise more than our chest. Then we exhale slowly through our mouth. Do this for about 10 to 15 breaths. You can do this longer than 10-15 breaths if needed.
  3. Watch your alcohol consumption: Alcohol can prevent you from having emotional control. The more intoxicated a person becomes the less emotional control that person may have. If you notice you are easily angered more than normal or others around you are making comments about your behavior, stop drinking.
  4. Take some time away from the game: If you are becoming more and more easily angered and you have done the above actions, then take 5 to 10 minutes away from the game and go outside or into another room. This is to get you away from the very thing you are angry at. Ask someone to go with you so you can talk to them about something else other than the game. You could even go outside and throw the football around with someone. Physical activity can help decrease anger and frustration.
  5. Remember there are other more important things in our lives: We need to keep things in perspective. When our favorite team loses, we have to remember there are other things/people in our life we can lose that will have more of a devastating impact on us. Identify what those things are and compare it to our favorite teams loss. I’m sure you will agree, life could be worse.

I hope this helps some of you out and/or a loved one. Remember to have fun this football season by enjoying the competition and with whom the company you are sharing the experience. Go Big Red!!!!!!!!

CHI Health Behavioral Care Team
CHI Health Behavioral Care Team

These blogs were written by members of the CHI Health Behavioral Care team.

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