How Being A Sports Fan Makes You Happier And Healthier
It’s easy to be cynical about professional sports — especially the NFL. But despite the disturbing headlines the league earned this year, ranging from lax penalties for domestic violence to a growing awareness of the impact of traumatic brain injuries, there will always be at least one silver lining for professional football.
That would be the undisputed, research-supported evidence that there are very real mental health advantages to claiming a sports team as your own. Yes, there are studies that show blood pressure rises during games or testosterone plummets after a loss. But epic fandom is also linked to higher levels of well-being and general happiness with one’s social life, as well as lower levels of loneliness and alienation, according to research by sports psychology professor Daniel Wann of Murray State University.
Wann, author of the book Sport Fans: The Psychology And Social Impact Of Spectators, explains that there are two routes to feeling good through sports fandom.
“One would be following a successful team, and the second would simply be identifying with them,” Wann told The Huffington Post. “You can get these well-being benefits even if your team doesn’t do well; we’ve found this with historically unsuccessful teams —> Read More Here