Welcome back! Last week we talked about the creases in our earlobes. If you missed this blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.
This week, we are going to talk about reruns. Yes, you read that right. Reruns. “How in the world can reruns be a health and wellness topic“, you ask? Grab A Cup of Coffee and let’s chat.
Are you someone who likes to watch reruns of old shows or movies? Does it bug you when a friend wants to watch the same reruns over and over and well, over again? Why do people do this and further, enjoy doing this? I went in search of some answers this week, and some of what I’m going to share with you may come as a surprise.
We all know that someone who can watch a movie and tell you every single line before it’s actually said in the movie, or that person who likes to binge-watch reruns of Friends or The Golden Girls.
In the Tate household, science fiction plays every night on the big screen. Star Trek originals, Next Generation, and even Discovery…I know, I know…stop it. Nerds, all of us, nerds. BUT…it’s calming. Why is that?
There may actually be a reason why folks do this…drum roll please…Will Meyerhofer, a New York-based psychotherapist and author, says watching our favorite old shows can be a useful tool for dealing with anxiety and mild depression.
Whaaattttt….seriously? *Sits and thinks*…yeah, ok, I’ll bite…explain, please. Right?
Dr. Meyerhofer reports that television from yesteryear can make us feel safe and secure in a world that feels increasingly chaotic.
“In therapy terms, it’s an instant — and for the most part healthy — regression in the service of the ego,” Meyerhofer said, adding that he unwinds with old episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (OK, I’m instantly feeling validated here… )
In a TODAY interview, Krystine Batcho, a licensed psychologist and a professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York who researches nostalgia, says watching our favorite old TV shows satisfies our “nostalgic need” and packs real emotional benefits.
“When people are stressed, or anxious, or feeling out of control, nostalgia helps calm them down. It’s comforting. It’s analogous to a hug from your mom or dad or being cuddled.
“It’s harkening back to what we might, even erroneously, perceive as a simpler time in our life with fewer responsibilities and obligations and fewer worries,” she said.
“For those who’ve experienced trauma or loss, reassurance about our identities can be critical,” said Batcho.
Another way our favorite old TV shows can be therapeutic? They help us feel connected.
“Re-watching “Friends” or “Beverly Hills, 90210” can literally ‘bring back memories and feelings of the friends you had back then and the fun times you had together‘,” said Batcho.
So here’s my take on this week’s research…take it or leave it. Just don’t turn off Star Trek, M*A*S*H, or The Brady Bunch in our home, because gosh darn it, when you need a little bit of comfort, what better way to get it than to “go home again“.
These beloved shows will always hold a place in our hearts, and if watching Mork and Mindy, Little House On The Prairie, Perry Mason, or reruns of Dallas give you a warm fuzzy, then make no apologies about it.
As my mama used to say, “it could be worse…your dad could be at the bar“.
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