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How Movies Affect Mental Health

the mental impact of movies

All of us are affected in some way by movies. They can change our moods, affect our emotions, and sometimes even our behaviour. And children are even more susceptible to film, often imitating the actions of movie characters because they do not yet have enough life experience. Therefore, the choice of a film watched by a child should be prudent.

Nevertheless, adults are also impressed by and react to what is happening on the screen. Agree, sometimes a movie drags so that while watching it, we cannot do much to distract ourselves. We are immersed in its plot; we empathise with the characters, laughing, crying, waiting for a favourable outcome of events occurring in the film.

In general, we experience a lot of different emotions. And after watching it, not infrequently, we feel the residue that does not leave us all day. We replay the events of what we have seen, analyze, and sometimes even imitate some of the hero's behaviour.

That is, without a doubt, movies influence the human psyche and consciousness. This influence can be traced to all three levels of our mental activity.

Consciousness, subconsciousness, unconsciousness - these three levels are interconnected and influence each other. For example, the unconscious is present practically in all mental processes. Now let's return to movies and their influence on our psychological state.

How does it work?

For example, a person has watched a horror movie or an action movie, which features scenes of violence. He has, so to speak, fed up with aggression, which has penetrated to the subconscious level through the consciousness.

Later, he may show himself as aggressive towards other people, animals, and frequent viewing of such movies will lead to the fact that gradually at the unconscious level will be deposited as a layer of aggression, which will affect his life. And because he is aggressive toward someone, he will also be aggressive toward him, and events will occur in his life that will provoke him to exhibit aggressive behaviour.

Along with this, watching movies with a positive storyline can have a positive effect on a person's mental health, improve emotional state and help in overcoming stress.

There is even such a technique in psychotherapy - cinema therapy - a method of influencing the human psyche by watching a movie, discussing it and making sense of it. This once again emphasizes the impact that movies have on us.

Therefore, try to watch as little violent, aggressive and more focused on good, comedic, instructive pieces of cinema, which will lift your spirits, charging positive energy, to develop a friendly and positive attitude towards themselves and others.

Many people see watching a movie as the perfect way to relax, but it turns out that it is not such simple entertainment. Movies affect our brains and bodies.


Laughter helps distract us from our problems for a while and improves our overall mood.

It's all about endorphin, the hormone of joy, which releases laughter; it saves us from sadness and irritation. In addition, numerous studies have shown that laughter helps the immune system. It promotes the production of antibodies that protect us from viruses and bacteria, as well as increasing the number of white blood cells that fight inflammation and even cancer.


Horror fans have a lot in common with extremely high-riskers who can't imagine their lives without skydiving, climbing peaks or downhill skiing. For many fans of the genre, watching creepy movies allows them to experience things they would never encounter in real life.

As it turns out, to get the most out of a scare, a safe environment and the certainty that everything scary will soon be over is essential. So, while watching a horror movie, you know that the home couch is a bastion of safety.

3D Movies

While many predict this format and ratings say audiences' interest in it is waning, more and more blockbusters are coming out in 3D.

UC Berkeley ophthalmology professor Martin Banks argues that viewing a stereo image on a movie screen causes several perceptual problems. Perception of 3D images puts extra stress on the cerebral cortex, making people with an unstable psyche develop disorders and worsen illnesses.

Romantic movies

Romantic movies are similar in their effect to comedies. It is proved that such films reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure. In addition, as the scientists from the University of Michigan found out, romantic movies provoke the release of the hormone progesterone, which is responsible for the sex drive, the joy of intimacy with your loved one, and other pleasant things.

Experiences have found that watching The Bridges of Madison County with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, for example, increased progesterone by 10% in viewers. At the same time, action movies and thrillers also increase the hormone, but it only affects the male body. Wildlife documentaries do not affect hormone levels.

Social dramas

Movie cruelty doesn't improve the level of violence in society, but when we watch aggressive behaviour on screen, the part of our brain responsible for natural aggression in real life is activated. Linfield College research has shown that a movie does not have to be violent at all - the most vivid emotions come from stories about bullying by classmates, bullying, spreading gossip, and social isolation.

The findings suggest that watching videos or movies that tell relational aggression stories increases the likelihood that viewers may engage in hostile behaviour.

About the author

Gabriella Tou is a content writer in a cheap reliable essay writing service that provides quality assistance. Jean also enjoys local folklore and customs. She is going to blog about it on YouTube.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on home entertainment.

Tags: Movies, Mental Health , Guest Post

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