From classic movies to childhood television shows to a new series on Netflix, visual entertainment has deeply impacted our lives. From Disney Channel to Marvel’s Avengers, we’ve grown up watching characters that were our role models and our favorite superheroes. With motion pictures and series being an important aspect of many of our lives, have you ever thought of how it has affected you?
There are times where I sit on my bed after a long day, scrolling through what’s on Netflix and struggling to make a decision on what to watch. Do I continue watching the show I’m currently watching? Watch a movie I’ve already watched a million times? Or watch something new?
As I go back and forth, just wanting to hit play on a film or series and relax, I end up selecting a show or movie I’ve already watched, something I know I will enjoy. Recently, I’ve wondered why I do this. Is it because I’m just not interested in trying to watch something new because I might dislike it? Or is there a more psychological reason to rewatching shows and movies one already knows will bring them comfort?
According to Everyday Health, if someone is already stressed and/or overworked, watching a non-favorite show or starting to watch something new can add to the restlessness problem, rather than aid the issue. When one already knows the storyline, they do not have to await the result of disappointment or sadness, they already know the emotions and the enjoyment of rewatching a film which could bring someone the feeling of safeness.
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So, rewatching a show and/or movie can be mentally positive for those already drained and wanting to sit back and relax. Most of the time, one does not realize that watching television takes up energy, but it does. Your brain is absorbing the information on screen to comprehend the storyline – hence energy – and it takes even more energy to pay attention to something new, rather than old because there are new details one has to focus on.
Not only can rewatching a show or a movie bring one comfort and feelings of safety, people can also connect with certain characters or a storyline which can help them through a difficult situation or give them a new perspective on life.
According to Exploring Your Mind, there are multiple benefits from watching films and series. It can help emotions one needs to process to come to the surface, it can help with motivation, it can decrease anxiety by redirecting someone’s attention and it can help someone deal with loss.
So, the next time you can’t figure out what to watch, or want to have a relaxing night, or you’re feeling down, don’t add pressure on yourself to pick out a new show or movie to watch. Stick with what you know and what will give you comfort, and whatever genre you’re in the mood for.
Natalie Fitzgibbons (she/her) is a junior standing studying journalism with a minor in American Studies.