Next time your significant other hounds you for wasting your time watching a meaningless Thursday Night Football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans, tell them about the five psychological benefits of watching sports.
Sense of Togetherness
Sports has this weird way of uniting people that otherwise would never speak to each other. Whether at the game as a fan or watching it at a local bar, strangers have a sense of togetherness that can only happen when watching a game.
It’s not quite like going to a movie theater and high-fiving the couple next to you after The Avengers save the world. Yet, when your team returns the opening kickoff for six points, you’re smacking hands with every man, woman, and child within arm’s length.
Fans refer to their team as “we,” as if we are an integral part of the team’s success. While we aren’t setting blocks, driving in runs, or kicking it out to the corner for a wide-open three-pointer, we feel a sense of accomplishment when our team succeeds.
If we must live in agony from friends and opposing fans rubbing our faces when our team loses, then we have every right to celebrate like we have a number on our back.
As members of society, we can mask our true inhibitions to appear better than we truly are. In summary, we treat every day like it’s a job interview or we’re going on a first date. When you got the game on, the defenses can come down, and you can be true to yourself.
Obviously, true to yourself within reason, you don’t want to act like a complete Neanderthal. But there’s no dress code or table manners you must abide by when it’s Sunday afternoon.
On the flip side, it’s also a chance for men to show their vulnerability. You’re not considered weird if you share your emotion about the game’s outcome, and opening up in that safe space could lead to future breakthroughs.
Watching a third-stringer come in at a critical moment and win the game can give you a nudge to accomplish your personal goals. If they can do it, why not you? Why not you, indeed! Plus, winning a huge game will put you in a better mood, so put that serotonin rush to good use and accomplish something you’ve been putting on the back burner.
Tune Out the Noise of Everyday Life
The most prominent psychological benefit of watching sports is turning off life for a few hours and just enjoying the game. What made the COVID-19 pandemic even more miserable was that it halted the sporting world. It puts things in perspective how much sports fans invest in their favorite teams when you’re trying to fill the void when the games didn’t happen.
There was nothing to take your mind off the general state of the world. Having that escape is huge for those struggling with their job, relationship, or overall well-being. Turn on the game and tune out the noise of the surrounding world.
These five psychological benefits of watching sports prove an underlying value in watching 11 hours of football every Sunday. If you want to make football Sundays even better, you could buy sports picks from Pregame’s experts, making it a winning weekend. Get your free $25 best bet with no commitment or obligations to prove we know what we’re talking about.