3 Ways Watching TV And Movies Can Boost Mental Wellbeing

3 Ways Watching TV And Movies Can Boost Mental Wellbeing

3 Ways Watching TV And Movies Can Boost Mental Wellbeing. This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Life’s a journey, yet we don’t always see the more challenging aspects like mental health discussed in television and movies. Just seeing a person who shares similar mental health experiences with you can be encouraging and help you feel seen. But there are many other ways to get support for your mental health available. 

There are both conventional talk therapies, as well as a number of nonconventional supporting therapies designed to help encourage mental wellbeing. For some people, modalities such as mediation and reiki can aid in reduction in stress and anxiety. To explore more about the practice of reiki therapy, check out BetterHelp’s resources.

Another non-traditional source for mental health support is watching certain kinds of movies and television series. In this article, we’ll look at three ways to potentially support your mental health by watching shows. 

Watching Nature Movies Can Be Relaxing

Watching nature shows has been shown in studies to provide some of the same benefits as being out in nature. One study found that even viewing nature videos briefly could help improve one’s mental wellbeing. It’s comforting to know that even when weather and circumstances prevent us from going outside, we may still be able to get a mental health boost from our screens. 

Seeing Characters Who Share The Same Mental Health Challenges 

For many of us, it’s comforting to see others who share our challenges – especially when they’re the invisible kind, as is the case with certain mental illnesses. Lars and the Real Girl (2007) is a movie therapists often cite as providing a character that can provide a positive model for those experiencing mental illness. 

The movie Lars and the Real Girl depicts a man who is in a relationship with a life-size doll. There’s something very visual about the form of mental illness he’s experiencing because it involves a doll, which is different than the way some mental illnesses remain hidden. 

Seeing someone who clearly has a mental health challenge to work through can also provide encouragement to those considering therapy. The depiction of the doctor who cares for Lars may also help people to feel more comfortable with seeking support from a mental health professional. 

Getting Scared By Horror Movies Makes Some People Feel Better

What is it that some people love so much about horror movies? According to Claudia Luiz, a New York-based psychoanalyst, “Horror movies can provide relief to the viewer.” For some, horror movies can provide the same kind of release of stored emotions, or catharsis, that others get from watching a tearjerker movie that makes them cry. 

There also may be an aspect of horror movies that helps make our own fight-or-flight system more manageable. After watching an extremely terrifying movie, some people are then able to put less terrifying aspects of daily living, like running out of coffee, into better perspective. This doesn’t have to be the reaction you have to horror movies, but they may provide certain mental benefits to certain people that are worth exploring. 

Lastly, almost all kinds of movies and television that help viewers to get swept away by a story can be beneficial, because it can give someone a break from what’s bothering them in their lives.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.


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