Watching football can be good for your mental health

Learn how I beat Depression

Supporting a football team and watching world cup matches can be a lot of fun but scientists from Indiana University, reckon it can also be good for your mental health too.

HealthDay news reported on why watching football can feel so good and apparently it’s all about feeling connected.

“The main thing that people achieve via sports fanship is a sense of belongingness, or connectedness, with others,” said Edward Hirt, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University.

“Sharing a common allegiance with others bonds people together in a special way. We can relate to others who share fanship with our team and feel a camaraderie with them that transcends ourselves.”

Back in the 1990’s, Professor Hirt showed fans of Indiana University’s basketball team pictures of attractive members of the opposite health and asked them to rate their ability to get a date.

The interesting thing is, after the team won, the fans not only rated their ability to get a date as higher, they also rated their ability to do other tasks as higher too, like throwing darts, solving word games and even rolling a dice, and this applied to both men and women.

“The ‘basking in reflected glory’ notion states that people can elevate their self-esteem in the eyes of themselves and others by their association with successful others” said Professor Hirt.

“Because the team’s success reflects positively on its fans, sports fans feel better about themselves when their team does well.”

So what about when your favourite team is always losing? Many loyal fans wouldn’t dream of switching allegiance to the winning team and will stick by their team through thick and thin.

According to Hirt, that is part of being a time tested fan as opposed to a fan that just wants to be on the winning side.

“We watch games with others, celebrating our team’s successes, but also commiserating over our team’s defeats” he said.

“I think that fans take a perverse pride in their loyalty, and see it as a badge of honor to suffer through the tough times of their team’s mediocrity or failure; doing so makes one feel like a ‘true fan’ and one that deserves to revel in the team’s successes, unlike those fair-weather fans.”

So go ahead and enjoy the world cup tournament and know that each time your team scores a goal, you are reaping the benefits too.

Learn how I beat Depression

1 Comment

  1. veryle Rupp
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Octogenarian Hoodlums put Teenager in Coma at Opera Event
    L.A . Build a Football Stadium

    Two eighty-year old hoodlum women armed with walkers beat up a teenager last night outside the Mark Taper Forum. Bystanders said it was because the teenagers were attending the Ballet. “Senseless. What has this world come to?” The teenager’s mother asked to remain nameless for fear of reprisal from other octogenarian hoodlums in the area.

    The quality of the 18,000 jobs Los Angeles gets with a new football stadium.
    2000 custodians
    2000 security officers
    2000 parking attendants
    2000 more traffic officers
    2000 hot dog and peanut venders
    2000 more city police earning overtime
    2000 football field maintenance workers
    2000 union construction jobs for one year
    200 football players who pay taxes in other states
    2000 accountants and executive managers to squeeze more profits for ten owners

    And what will this stadium produce in the end. People who buy two hundred dollar tickets, ten dollar hot dogs, ten dollar drinks, team T-shirts for fifty bucks, a traffic nightmare, thirty dollar parking and don’t forget the ten sports bars with mega video screens selling healthy family food at a good price. Have I left anything out? Oh yes, the occasional mugging by hoodlum fan’s. That’s what I call a family night out.

    Now what did I get for my dollar. An empty bank account and I know nothing more about life or even human relationships. Wait, I learned patience. I had to wait in line for the bathroom, the tickets, the restaurant, the parking, and to get my fat free veggie hot dog.

    Ed Roski and those sports addict investors think out of the box for once. Think of London’s National Theater Complex. No it isn’t a movie house. The football stadium you intend to build could hold four main stage theaters, ten medium sized theaters, and several small experimental venues. And yes an arts bar with mega-video screens playing great performances. Go team go!

    The job caliber Los Angeles will get when it builds an arts stadium instead.
    2000 construction jobs to build and maintain forever because culture doesn’t leave town for a new stadium

    200,000 painters, carpenters, electricians actors, dancers, singers, musicians, writers, designers, engineers, stagehands, teachers, cooks, chefs, waiters, bus boys, custodians, and yes more executives and lawyers to squeeze more profits for the 200,000 quality jobs that are created.

    No police are needed. Those two eighty-year-old Octogenarian hoodlums are hanging out at bad-mitten games now.

    What do I walk away with now, a healthy community of fans, a well-spent dollar, and my intelligence enhanced ten times over and I still can’t throw a dart better.

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