How to ease World Cup nerves, according to experts

How to ease World Cup nerves, according to experts
World Cup 2022: Jubilant England fans celebrate after cruising to victory against …

As the World Cup tournament continues, supporters may feel nervous when watching the action on the pitch as they cheer on their national team.

So it's no surprise that most footy fans get stressed and nervous as 82 per cent of them say they experience nervousness and stress whilst watching matches.

These nerves could result in physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking and even diarrhoea.

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Many fans have also claimed watching football is more stressful than taking an exam (16 per cent), having a job interview (15 per cent), and even public speaking (14 per cent) as some experience shaking, throwing up and diarrhoea from "match stress."

The most common symptom of football nerves is feeling restless, with more than a quarter (28 per cent) of fans experiencing this, followed by stomach butterflies (27.5 per cent) and sweaty palms (16 per cent).

Meanwhile, one in six (15 per cent) fans experience stomach issues, such as stomach aches or even diarrhoea, and 7.5 per cent of fans suffer from nausea or vomiting due to nerves when watching football.

Here are the top 15 most common effects of football nerves:

  • Feeling restless - 28 per cent
  • Stomach butterflies - 27.5 per cent
  • Sweaty palms - 16 per cent
  • Tense shoulders and/or neck - 15 per cent
  • Sweating - 14 per cent
  • Heart flutters - 13.5 per cent
  • Faster breathing - 11 per cent
  • Shaking - 7 per cent
  • Headaches - 7 per cent
  • An upset stomach – 6.5 per cent
  • Stomach aches – 5.5 per cent
  • Nausea - 5 per cent
  • Short of breath - 5 per cent
  • Diarrhoea - 3 per cent
  • Vomiting - 2.5 per cent

Now, booking site has created the world’s first massage with the help of massage and relaxation experts at The Spa at Laceby Manor spa that specifically targets football match nerves.

The ‘Football Fears Massage’ helps fans to calm their nerves through the use of bespoke massage techniques to help the body de-stress and encourage a more relaxed state of mind.

“As experts in relaxation, we wanted to do our bit for fans around the world so they don’t need to feel the stressful effects of watching matches," Jason Goldberg, Director at said.

"We’re thrilled to be able to provide a vital tool for those who feel sick with nerves when enduring every free kick, yellow card, or dreaded penalties, and hope that it makes a big difference to nervy football fans during the World Cup.”

Whether you're watching the footy at home or at the pub, fans can perform the message anywhere and without equipment.

There are also "solo" and "for mates" versions for you to relax both yourself and also if you want to help your friends destress if you’re all watching the game together.

Massage method to de-stress yourself:

Ways to calm your nerves during big World Cup matchesSpaSeekers

"Tiki taka" temple rubs: Place two fingers on your temples and apply light pressure and massage in circular motions for 10 seconds.

"Nutmeg" neck slides: Apply either 2 or 3 fingers to the side of your neck, starting at the base of the scalp. Gently slide them round to the back of the neck, then repeat again slightly lower until you reach the bottom of the neck. Repeat on the opposite side.

Ways to calm your nerves during big World Cup matchesSpaSeekers

The "hand of God": Cup your hand and place over the opposite shoulder and start to rub in circle motions, apply pressure with your fingertips to work the muscles. Do this for 10 seconds on each side.

Face "tap it in": Gently and lightly tap over your face, one finger at a time and increasing speed so your fingers flow. Start at the top of your head and work your way down past your temples and cheeks until you reach your jaw.

Massage methods to destress your mates:

There are also massage technique to help destress your friendsSpaSeekers

"4-claw-2": Spread your fingers apart and bend slightly, so your hands are like two claws. Then place on either side of their head, with thumbs near the base of their neck and little fingers near the temples. Firmly move your hand in small circular motions, doing five slow circles.

The arm "slide tackle": Hold their hand with one hand, and with the other hand use two fingers to firmly slide up their arm – starting from their wrist and ending just before their elbow. Repeat three times.

The "fingertip save": Place your thumb and first two fingers around their knuckle, then firmly work your way to the tip of the fingers. Then gently pull on the nail area.

There are also massage technique to help destress your friendsSpaSeekers

"Get stuck in" squeezes: Make a C with your hands and place them over their shoulders, so you thumb is on their back and your fingers are near to their collarbone. Start close to the neck and gently squeeze once, then move slightly down the shoulder. Repeat this until you reach the end of their shoulders.

"Liquid football" swipes: Then use your thumbs to follow the shoulder blade round in a swiping motion. Repeat three times.

For more detail on the full massage technique and instructions on how to perform the expertly curated massage, visit the SpaSeekers website.

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