Here are some tips to help to diminish lightheadedness and prevent you from fainting.
Have you had enough to eat?
Sometimes feeling lightheaded can be a sign that your body needs energy. To prevent your body and brain from shutting down, your blood sugar and salt levels need to be stable. So ask yourself if you have had enough to eat and make sure that you eat regularly.
Are you feeling overheated?
Another common reason for fainting is that the body is overheated. If you are in a hot, stuffy, crowded environment and start to feel dizzy, consider these options to cool down:
- shed some layers of clothes, if possible
- get near a window or door for airflow
- drink a cool drink
- splash cool water on your face and wrists
Have you had enough to drink?
It is important to keep well hydrated. It is recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 litres per day, preferably plain water. Ask yourself if you drink enough and try drinking some water when you feel lightheaded.
Did you get up too quickly?
Getting up quickly, for example when you get out of bed or get up from a chair, can trigger a lightheaded feeling. This is because all the blood suddenly drops down from your brain. It is more likely to happen if you have been spending a lot of time sitting or lying down. You can prevent this by moving more slowly. When you get out of bed, sit up first before you stand up, so that your body has time to adjust.
Are you feeling anxious?
When you feel nervous or anxious, it is natural to start breathing quickly and even hyperventilate. This might prevent your brain from receiving enough oxygen. When this is the case, take deep, strong breaths and try to slow down your breathing. Click here for further instructions on breathing exercises.
Tense your muscles
If the tips above do not help and you still feel like you are about to faint, you could try to tense the muscles in your arms and legs. Fainting is generally caused by a lack of blood to the head. Tensing your muscles can increase your blood pressure and thus increase blood flow to your brain:
- Sit in a comfortable chair and tense the muscles in your arms, legs and trunk for about 10 to 15 seconds. Hold the tension until you start to feel a warm sensation in your head.
- Then, relax for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat this 5 times.