Sports fans like Patrick Dwyer Financial Advisor know that watching sports makes us feel good as a result. But did you know why? Here are some of the key reasons that watching sports can make us feel mentally and physically better.
It releases tension
It has been well documented that yelling, screaming, laughing and cheering are great ways to reduce tension because it can lead to the release of endorphins and negative emotions. This is the reasoning behind scream therapy!
It makes us feel connected
There is also a clear connection between the feeling of being a part of a team, or “tribe,” and overall mental well-being. This is because the social bonds that we forge as we cheer for our team help to make us feel like we are connected to something bigger than ourselves. Research shows that this is important to our mental health, and can help to stave off depression.
You always have something to talk about
Related to the importance of social connections to our sense of belonging, watching sports means that you will always have something to talk about with casual acquaintances.
It keeps the mind active
Watching sports has been shown to be a good way to keep the mind active, and encourages the development of those parts of the brain that control planning and performance. Keeping an active mind, especially as we age, is a key way to keep our minds sharp.
It involves friends and family
Very few people prefer to watch sports by themselves. For most of us, watching the game is a highly social undertaking to be enjoyed with friends and family. For many families, in fact, there is a certain ritual around gathering to watch the game – special meals are prepared, faces are painted, and old memories are shared as new ones are created.
It models positive values
More than in many aspects of our lives, we can mostly count on the game being an example of fair-dealings, good sportsmanship, and the equal treatment of all according to the rules. Think of the outrage that we express when we see rules being broken or players acting in petty ways to understand the centrality of these values of fair play at work in sports.
It can inspire us to become more active
Many people report that they are inspired to ramp up their involvement in playing sports as a result of watching them. Whether it is a familiarity with the game that makes people want to test their own abilities, or the thrill of being part of a team, watching sports makes it more relatable, and more likely that you will give it a try.
So, if you needed an excuse to paint your face and wear a giant foam finger, wait no more! Be sure to enjoy your next game doubly, knowing that your fan support is good not only for your team but also for yourself!