Stress sweating can cause a lot of embarrassment.
The science behind sweating is actually simple – it’s our body’s way of adjusting our internal body temperature when we get hot.
To re-establish a balance our body needs to increase heat output and it achieves this by sweating.
There are various triggers that cause us to start perspiring. These include heat, exercise, emotional factors such as stress or anxiety, hormonal changes such as menopause, foods such as curry, and even infection.
Perspiration is 99% water
Perspiration is a healthy, biological function that happens to us all and can begin as early as a few months after birth. Body odour as a result of sweating on the other hand, does not usually occur until puberty.
Why under our arms?
Our under arms only contain less than 1% of our sweat glands and therefore produce a relatively small amount of fluid. Feet actually contain the most sweat glands, however, underarm sweat is more noticeable because it doesn’t evaporate as readily as it does from more exposed areas.
10 tips to staying cool under pressure
1. Take a deep breath. Find a quiet, comfortable spot. Sit or lie down on your back. Breathe in slowly through your nose until your abdomen fully expands. Release that breath slowly through your nose or mouth. Spend 10 to 20 minutes practising deep breathing every day.
2. Consciously relax. Lie on your back with your eyes closed. Starting at your feet, tense one body part at a time. Work your way up to your lower legs, knees, upper legs, and so on.
Tense each body part for about five seconds and then let it relax. By the time you reach your head, you should feel calmer.
3. Take a warm bath. Soaking in warm water is not only relaxing, but washing your body with anti-bacterial soap will also kill off the bacteria.
4. Turn on soothing music that will lower your heart rate and blood pressure and slow breathing.
5. Go for a swim. Exercise is a great stress-buster. When you work out, your body releases endorphins that give you a feeling of well-being.
6. Drink decaf. Caffeine boosts blood pressure, increases heart rate, and one study shows it may amplify the daily stress you’re already experiencing.
7. Have a good laugh, it really is the best medicine. Laughing first activates, and then relieves your stress response, producing an overall feeling of calm. A good belly laugh also improves the body’s oxygen flow and blood circulation.
8. Write it down. Keep a daily journal and write about whatever stresses you out during the day. Understanding your stress triggers will help you get control over them.
9. Get help. Trying to deal with your sweating problem on your own can be stressful in itself. It can really help to talk with a professional psychologist or counsellor, or to join a support group of people who have dealt with the same problem.
10. Make it easier on yourself. Stress and sweating can turn into a vicious cycle. You get stressed out, so you sweat. Then you worry about sweating, which makes you stress out even more, which makes you perspire more.
DISCLAIMER: You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!