Super Bowl Sunday

I’ll admit it. I am not a huge football fan, but for some reason, I get excited about the Super Bowl.

Whether it is cheering on your favorite team, watching the commercials, enjoying the half-time show, or eating your favorite munchies, there are a number of great reasons why the super-bowl-matters.

Did you know that there are actually mental health benefits of being a diehard-sports-fan? In addition there are some great social aspects.

Check out these five awesome benefits:

Sense of Identity: Having a sense of belonging through group affiliation with a favorite team can feel to fans like an extension of their own self. Devoted fans personally experience the wins and losses. They feel a personal connectedness to the team. Wearing your team’s colors or favorite jersey is one way to represent shared identity and express loyalty. Fandom builds camaraderie.

Increased Self-Esteem: Sharing in the team’s success can help build self-esteem through feelings of emotional connectedness by bonding with the players and fans. In addition, the community aspect serves as a protective factor for things such as depression, low-self-esteem, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation.

Positive Stress: The anticipation of a team’s victory or loss can bring up a variety of strong emotions commonly experienced during competitions–elation, joy, and satisfaction to envy, anger, and dejection. The feelings of arousal in your body can make you experience feelings of pleasure and anxiety are known as eustress.

Escape from Daily Life: Checking on stats and watching your favorite sports team can be a pleasurable distraction from daily life as well as a source of entertainment. Travelling to events is just another part of the experience and provides an outlet for stress-relief.

Strengthen Bonds with Family/ Friends: Watching the Super Bowl is a fun way to spend time with those who are important to you and share similar loyalties to the team (or at least enjoy sharing in the overall experience). Fans create emotional connections through their consistent and devout interactions such as watching all the games, knowing all the stats of the game and its players, and investment in purchases that support the team. When you are surrounded by a community of others you feel connected to, it feels good.  Life can feel more fulfilling when rooting for your favorite team and sharing in the event with others.

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