Though you might think that you’re wasting your time lounging around the living room on a Saturday afternoon watching old Friends reruns, a complex study points out that you’re actually doing yourself a favor. Watching reruns is a therapeutic exercise that gives us a strange health benefit.
A new study shows that your leisurely hours spent watching reruns of your favorite TV shows benefits you, but not in any way you might guess. It actually boosts your self control, reports Newser. The study is explained in some exhaustive detail over at the Pacific Standard, but the gist of it is that participants in the study found that after one activity depleted their self-control, writing about a favorite TV show helped to replenish it. In turn, they exercised more self-control and were actually much happier during later activity, as opposed to participants in the study who didn’t reflect fondly on a favorite TV program.
How does this tie into watching reruns? Ever come across a familiar episode during your channel surfing and said, “Oh, this is a good one!” Fond reflection.
To put that into context, psychologists have long suspected that people don’t really have a whole lot of self-control. Some may show discipline at one point in the day (refusing doughnuts at breakfast) only to give in later (an extra helping of dessert after dinner). To restore a degree of self-control, one has to put oneself in a good mood. This can be accomplished through self-affirmation, interaction with loved ones, exercising, and watching reruns, apparently. The study’s author calls it immersing oneself in a “familiar fictional world.”
Do you watch reruns?