Cinema Therapy: Why Movies and TV Shows Are Important?


Cinema Therapy

Geekswipe - How Important are Movies - Res - 1

Movies preserve the culture of our race, besides entertaining each one of us in a different way.  TV shows does the same for a long term – well at least a few of them. It’s known to an average person that movies and TV shows have a great impact on our psychological well-being, and they relax us in different ways. But, not everyone knows that they also induce physiological changes in the human body, accompanied by the corresponding mental changes. Movies and TV Shows are even prescribed therapeutically for relaxation. But what do we know about movies? How to pick the right genre? Here is a genre wise breakdown analysis of movies and their effects on our brain and body.

Horror Movies

To begin with, horror movies are the best candidates, loved much by the adrenaline junkies. The cons of watching a horror movie outweighs the pros. The pros are that these movies help you overcome your fear, by facing the fear itself in a controlled environment – more like the Batman intentionally facing his fear of bats by going into the bat cave. They help you to deal with stress and anxiety beforehand by experiencing them in the theater. Whereas the cons are that it is not advisable for your mental and physical health, and it is so not advisable if you are a young kid.

Horror movies will scare you to the hell and it produces lots of epinephrine (adrenalin) in your bloodstream along with an increase in the cortisol level. It means that your ‘fight or flight’ response – triggered by the intense horror – kicks in the adrenalin and puts you in a stressed condition. This leads to an increased blood pressure, lowered body temperature and increased heart rate as well. Several case studies indicates that most of the traumatic memories are remembered in such intense horror scenes and the cortisol levels are found to be spiked up in those who come out form the theater after watching a horror movie. This affects your mood and health. And moreover, these changes happen when you are stationary in your seat and that’s not how it’s supposed to happen.

Comedy Movies

As we have explained earlier, laughter is the best medicine you can find on this planet. A few minutes of heartily laughter form your belly could burn a substantial amount of calories equivalent to a workout. Psychologically, comedies helps you to relax your thoughts for a while and make you livelier. Laughing dilates your blood vessels, and helps in sending more oxygen to your body. It also lowers the blood pressure, and strengthens the immune system.

Studies also suggests that watching a humorous movie or show for about 30 to 60 minutes improve the secretion of Immunoglobulin A – an antibody that protects against cold, flu and other respiratory problems. Read more

So the next time, choose your comedies right and have a good time in the theaters.

Romantic Movies

Romantic movies mostly affects you mentally, helping you to judge people more subtly and make decisions better. Not all romantic movies are alike. But most of the movies usually have a blend of comedy in it. This lets the audience to take huge decisions in their life with a humorous hand, so everything is subtle between the relationships. It’s been proven by experience that there are couples who had solved their problem in a better way, following the characters in a romantic movie. Physiologically, these movies helps your body to secrete hormones like oxytocin, estrogen, androgen, testosterone, and serotonin, which in turn strengthens your bond with your romantic partner. A few romantic movies, does the reverse effect. Movies with sad endings might affect your mood with depression and stress as well. So choose your movies better for the happy 120 minutes of your life, which also impacts the life after.

Drama and Thriller Movies

While they have a blurry border between horror and action flicks, the nail biting scenes in the movies does the same as the intense moments in horror flicks – increases the secretion of adrenaline. Too much adrenaline is not good and we don’t have to repeat it. In case of drama movies, the mood changes vigorously when you watch movies like, The Departed or Se7en. These mood changes bring back your old traumatic memories and leave an imprint in your memory. The reason why you enjoy the thriller movies is that the adrenaline rush turns pleasurable when you slowly perceive that the things that happen around you are not real, but a film.

Action Movies

These movies usually come in with a huge budget and huge special effects obviously. Explosions, violence, gun fights, car chases and bone breaking stunts make them the best entertainment. Although they give a pleasurable experience for the adrenaline junkies, they do have a greater impact on our mood. They sometimes, help people relax, by totally taking them inside the movie and letting them to drop some of their day-to-day stress. Paired with comedy, an action-comedy movie will be the right choice to let off some steam and enjoy those popcorns. On the other hand, violent, brutal fights and action scenes pass a bad influence too. It all depends on the choice you make.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Talk about creativity and inspiration, that’s where Sci-fi and fantasy come in. It’s not so common that you see a space ship or a talking lion in your daily life. Such flabbergasting moments, produce pleasurable moments in your body with the help of hormones like serotonin and dopamine. It also triggers that genius in you and make you wonder the possibilities of imagination. It can take you to realms that you’ve never been to. It’s a well observed fact that most of our modern day technologies have a root from science fiction books. Movies and TV shows.

I know you love your movies. It’s not that I’m against horror movies as I vouch for comedies and action flicks. This article is a result of a little scientific curiosity. As I’ve told earlier, not all movies are alike and not all people perceive them the same way. It’s up to you to pick your movies.

This post was first published on August 11, 2014.


Karthikeyan KC

Aeronautical engineer, dev, science fiction author, gamer, and an explorer. I am the creator of Geekswipe. I love writing about physics, aerospace, astronomy, and python. I created Swyde. Currently working on Arclind Mindspace.

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