The Real Reason Rewatching Your Favorite Show Is A Good Idea

The Real Reason Rewatching Your Favorite Show Is A Good Idea

12/09/2020

If you can recite every line of Friends, That 70s Show, or The Office, this is for you. According to a 2012 study, sitting down to rewatch an old TV favorite actually has psychological benefits to the ritual, Real Simple explains. The Journal of Consumer Research shared that “reconsumption” – meaning revisiting activities, like returning to an all-time fave novel — can cultivate sincere pleasure. This effect is responsible for the sense of relaxation you feel when you return home, eat at your favorite restaurant, or repeat any ritual that has pleasant memories associated with it. 

The outlet explains that, when feeling adrift, watching your old shows that have comforted you throughout your life can help you feel more connected to who you are. The feelings of warmth you get from watching an episode of Sex and the City, for example, come from the sense of familiarity with the setting, the plot, and the beloved characters. Much like your favorite comfortable chair at your local coffee shop, reruns of your comfort show create the same sense of peace within the brain as it recognizes the sense of ease it brought you at other points in your life. 

Plus, since TV shows are often centered on friendship, these plotlines can offer you the same feelings of connection.

When your social life feels lacking, your favorite shows provide the missing element

As many of us long for the days of simple contact with our friends and family, getting any jolt of camaraderie can help offset uncomfortable feelings of loneliness. Clinical social worker, Dr. Maria Baratta, tells CNBC Make It that, “To watch stuff that you know the ending to, especially if it’s a decent ending, is important. During these days, we don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know how long this is going to last.”

Many times, these TV shows offer a light-hearted escape to a different time that feels comfortable, helping your mind and body feel the same. Baratta suggests steering clear of intense content that can bring on a sense of anxiety or distress — many times the opposite of the way that your favorite show makes you feel. Psychologist Neel Burton echoes this sentiment to HuffPost. “Our everyday is humdrum, often even absurd,” he said. “Nostalgia can lend us much-needed context, perspective and direction, reminding and reassuring us that our life is not as banal as it may seem. It also tells us that there have been ― and will once again be ― meaningful moments and experiences.”

You heard the scientists — get to the couch and rewatch your favorite show!

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