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Christmas Movies Are Officially Good For Your Health

Christmas Movies Are Officially Good For Your Health

There really is nothing better that nestling down with a box of Quality Street over Christmas and binging festive movies.

And there's certainly no shortage of seasonal films on telly and streaming platforms for our viewing pleasure this year, with a whole string of classic choices including Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone for us to choose from alongside some promising newbies, like Last Christmas.

But what if we told you that the inevitable hours of TV you're set to watch is actually going to do wonders for your health?

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Yep, Hugh Grant's Love Actually dad dancing could be improving your health (Credit: Universal Pictures)
Yep, Hugh Grant's Love Actually dad dancing could be improving your health (Credit: Universal Pictures)

Speaking to Tyla, Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari, a leading psychologist, said that tuning into a Christmas movie could actually boost your mental health and overall happiness. Result!

"Festive films can not only bring you into completely different worlds and scenarios, you also get to live the experience vicariously through the characters, albeit for an hour or two!," she told us. "Our interpretations of this simulation actually activates an emotional conscious (sense of feeling) and unconscious (hormones and brainwaves)."

According to some studies, dopamine is the main hormone that gets released when a Christmas movie makes you feel good, (aka Hugh Grant's dad dancing in Love Actually or the moment Kevin is reunited with his mum in Home Alone), and this, in turn, leaves us feeling happy.

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Could The Grinch be behind your boost in mood? (Credit: Disney)
Could The Grinch be behind your boost in mood? (Credit: Disney)

Of course, it's not just Christmas movies that can prompt this instant mood boost. Allowing time for anything that you enjoy but don't usually experience in your day-to-day life can have a similar affect.

Naturally, we think this is great news, as it means that when mum starts moaning at us for watching It's A Wonderful Life for the millionth time we'll have the perfect comeback this year.

And now we mention it, we don't usually eat pigs in blankets by the bucketload, so maybe doing that'll help, too.

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But that's not all, Dr Ben-Ari adds: "There are some evidence that watching comedies can decrease stress hormones, and actually increase our immune systems and tolerance of pain."

Wow.

Dr Ben-Ari isn't the first to discuss the influence Christmas can have on our mental health, as back in 2017, Amy Morin - psychotherapist and best-selling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do - told UNILAD: "The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia.

Settling down with a Christmas film can trigger nostalgia (Credit: Pixabay)
Settling down with a Christmas film can trigger nostalgia (Credit: Pixabay)
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"Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.

"It may be a bittersweet feeling. Perhaps the holidays serve as a reminder of when a loved one was still alive. Or maybe looking at a Christmas tree reminds someone of what life was like when they still believed in Santa".

Whatever the science behind it, we can confirm that Christmas has certainly got us feeling jolly. Or maybe that's the eggnog...

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Topics: Christmas, TV News, TV Entertainment, Health

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]

 

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