Reasons to Watch Comfort Movies During Mental Health Breaks


August 4, 2022 | Tracy's Blog

Watch comfort movies during mental health breaks


Can watching movies provide more than entertainment and an excuse for eating snacks? “Movie therapy'' or “cinema therapy” is a way that viewing films may provide people with therapeutic benefits.  

You might be interested in reading this article explaining how our brain works.

Keep reading to learn how watching your favorite flicks may provide mental health benefits. 

What Exactly Is Movie Therapy?

Movie therapy is a therapeutic technique that may provide various psychological benefits to individuals related to:

  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Feelings and desires 

Supporters of movie therapy argue that it’s partly effective since research suggests that learning may occur faster when an individual processes information in multiple ways. For example, you see the video and hear the sound when viewing a movie.

Movie-watching may provide this benefit to individuals with mental health issues.

What Exactly Are Mental Health Breaks?

It’s probably not shocking that some research shows taking breaks can be a good thing. Still, what are “mental breaks,” and why do you need them?

A mental break is anything that helps you stop, relax, and recharge your brain. They can range from a 10-minute work break to a week-long vacation.

You should step back and take a mental break if you feel:

  • Tired
  • Stressed
  • Unfocused
  • Irritable
  • Sick

Possible Mental Health Benefits of Watching Comfort Movies

Here are some of the many reasons to consider watching comfort movies as a mental health break:

Boost Mood

If you experience stress, depression, or anxiety disorders, then viewing your favorite movie for the 10th or 100th time may help improve your mood.

Research suggests that leisure activities like watching movies may help boost moods. Consider light options like romantic comedies over those with a severe tone. 

Improve Overall Health

Watching one of your favorite films may help improve your overall mental health. For example, let’s say you have a negative outlook on life. Cinema therapy through a “feel-good” movie may help you perceive life differently and improve how you deal with issues. 

Even sad movies can affect your brain chemistry. An Oxford University study showed that watching them may boost a chemical related to pain tolerance.  

Enhance Relationships

You may be dealing with some disconnect between people close to you, such as a spouse or best friend. Watching a movie that all of you like may help rebuild your relationship.

Even if it’s not a comfort movie, you can enjoy it with others that like the same movie genre as you, such as action movies. Who knows? It may become one of your all-time favorite flicks.

Besides the chance to improve relationships while watching the movie, the process can continue by talking about the film afterward.

Increase Creativity

One study showed that children who wanted fantasy movies like the Harry Potter series might score higher on creativity tests. Such movies may help children develop creative ideas and solve problems using imagination.

Adults may also get creative ideas when watching a fascinating movie. Still, more research is needed. 

Reduce Stress

Stress can have a devastating effect. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), one-third of Americans were so stressed in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that they had difficulties making fundamental decisions.

Movies can help you escape from reality, which can be helpful if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, for example.

Relaxation from watching comfort movies may help you deal with stress better. Yes, that’s right. For instance, comedies and romantic movies may help provide solutions to problems you’re dealing with in life. 

A study completed by the University of Maryland reported that comedies and films that made people laugh helped lower stress, decrease blood pressure, and enlarge blood vessels. Wider blood vessels can improve blood flow.

Increase Art Appreciation

Yes, movies are a form of entertainment. They’re also a form of art, including elements like pictures, costumes, architecture, and sound design.

In fact, individuals like designers, painters, sculptures, and musicians team up to combine various art forms into one film.

When you watch your favorite movies, you can develop art appreciation and even learn about types of art and artists.

Learn New Things

Many people focus on the entertainment value of watching movies. That said, movies can also provide a learning experience for viewers. For example, documentaries can help you learn about critical issues and events.

Viewing films can also help change your perspective on people and issues you encounter every day. Some examples include:

  • Languages
  • Culture
  • History

You can learn the interesting history of a place or event you didn’t know about. One movie can change your entire perspective!

Increase Motivation

Do you find yourself asking: “What’s my motivation?” Watching movies can be motivational in many ways.

Taking a mental break and doing something fun like watching a streaming movie can help increase your motivation when you return to work. It can also help you avoid burnout.

Some movies like The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) feature someone successfully striving to achieve their goals. Such films can motivate you to get the same results. For example, you may aim for a new goal or start a new hobby.

Visit PlayOn today to record your all-time favorite comfort movies so you have them at your finger tips when you need a Mental Heath Break.



References

1. Movie therapy
https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/movie-therapy

2. Science behind mental health breaks
https://design.org/the-science-behind-mental-health-breaks/

3. Stress in America™ 2021: Pandemic impedes basic decision-making ability
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2021/10/stress-pandemic-decision-making


This submission is from our guest blogger Lucille Adams and is posted here with her permission.

 

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