With all this talk about football and the upcoming Super Bowl, I got to wondering if there were any mental health benefits to watching this very aggressive sport. I mean all that yelling, tackling, kicking… not to mention the action on the field.
I started reading a UK article on football, then suddenly realized they were talking about soccer!
Once I found some articles about U.S. football, there were mixed reviews. Depending on how you look at it, watching football could be something that…
- builds community – support the home team!
- improves social skills – gives people something to talk about
- releases that feel good brain chemical, dopamine – touchdown!
- makes you smarter – learning stats and analyzing complex plays
- is plain simple fun!
Or another way to look at it, football can…
- create anger and aggression from fans if taken too seriously (including an increase in domestic violence)
- negatively impact self-esteem if a fan’s personal identity is too wrapped up in the final outcome of the game
- create stress for people who lose a lot of money from betting on the team that lost
I guess watching football is like a lot of other things. Depending on your perspective, it’s a positive or a negative. Personally, I’m just going to wait for the halftime show. Team Mary J!
Feature photo from Jeandaniel Francoeur at Pexel.