Can watching sports calm you down?

I have already written a post on how exercise can help you manage stress (put link here), so it’s pretty obvious that playing sports can help with that too since there is so much physical exertion and movement involved. But what about just watching sports? Can that help you with your stress?

Now truth be told, I am not much of a sport person myself but I have friends and family who love it. They always seem so happy and excited for an upcoming match. So it got me thinking, can watching sports actually help you when you are stressed?

This probably goes without saying but there are hundreds of sports out there that we watch and play for our entertainment. Whether it’s hockey, cricket, rugby, tennis, baseball, American football, the other type of football (aka soccer), basketball, badminton, e-sports and so many more, there’s something for everyone to watch.

Now as I said before I don’t care for sports, however that doesn’t mean I am going to snatch the remote away and change the channel when someone else is watching a sports match and is truly enjoying themselves. Most of the time I would join in the watching and I actually enjoyed myself, it would take me a while to figure out the teams because most of the time I wasn’t familiar with their colours but once I did I would just sit and enjoy myself; I already know most of the rules for most of the games (the benefit of growing up with people who are into sports) so at least I didn’t have to annoy people by continuously asking them what was going on.

The only sport I didn’t like watching was wrestling, and I don’t mean actual wrestling like they show in the Olympics, I’m talking about the WWE type wrestling where most of the stuff they are doing is an act. Of course I know that it is important and all part of the entertainment just like any other show, but I could never get as interested in it as most of my friends did, they loved those characters, The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Stone Cold Steve Austin, those guys were their heroes; it would be all they would talk about, and I would just sit there waiting for a change in topic.

People who are into sports like my friends and family get so excited and happy for upcoming matches, it doesn’t matter what kind of day they’ve had; as soon as they turn on the TV and watch the sports match all the tension melts away. As someone who is not into sports I sometimes wonder why that is; there is of course the entertainment value, but that can only account for some of it. The thing that really makes or breaks it for sports fans is the emotional investment they put into it, they get so invested in the game, the team and the individual players that for the short period of time that they are watching, it is everything to them, it’s almost like they are experiencing everything just like the players are. I wish I could get that emotionally invested; sadly all I can manage is mild amusement.

Still it is an interesting thought, as I said before there are many different kinds of sports out there, just because I am not into the sports most people are into, doesn’t mean there aren’t other sports that I might get emotionally invested in, I just need to keep looking.

While it is true that if I get too invested then it will hit me hard if the team I’m rooting for loses, but that is part of life, filled with risk, and doesn’t mean I should stop pursuing happiness.

So what’s the takeaway for this post? Try watching some sport, find something that you enjoy watching and can really get into. If you don’t find one at first that’s fine, there are tons more out there to look into.

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