We all have different ways of dealing with stress, emotions and relationships. Some people meditate, some pump iron at the gym and others find comfort in the arms of their lovers (and Netflix tv shows). Even though our parents warned us against square eyes and childhood obesity, our urge to binge on the best Netflix series continues. In fact, a Netflix survey found that 61 percent of users regularly watch between 2-6 episodes of a show in one sitting. That’s like 20 hours of binge-bonding a week. WTF!
Watching series is a drug! We are injecting ourselves with escapism and we love every minute of the high. Some might say it’s a bad addiction to binge on popular shows like “Orange is the New Black”, while others like communication professor, Robin Nabi, argue against the haters. “They say you’re ignoring your spouse, you’re ignoring your work and you’re staying up too late, not getting enough sleep — and there’s some truth to that,” says Nabi. “But another way of looking at this is there are times when you just need to relax and enjoy your babe’s company without words, just drama on screen and a good glass of wine.
Professor Nabi’s research with breast cancer survivors showed that people can watch Netflix tv shows to block out major stressors. “It can be very functional,” she says, adding that people rely on TV for a range of psychological needs: surveillance (to be informed about what’s happening in our environment), social connection, and diversion.
What are the relationship benefits of watching Netflix?
If you watch series together with your bae, it’s especially good for your health and relationship. A new survey by Xfinity found that two-thirds of couples say watching series together has made their relationship stronger, and that couples who watch TV together for more than five hours a week enjoy more body-hugging action.
So, watching series can be healthy for your relationship, but what about your general health? Well, cuddling’s great for body and mind! Holding your girl/guy releases the feel-good hormone, dopamine, and the “bonding” hormone, oxytocin., which reduces, stress, blood pressure and lowers risk for heart disease. Having feels for someone can also boost your immunity, reduce pain, extend your lifespan and give you more energy.
What if you’re single?
You can always cuddle with your doggy or kitty. Even if you don’t cuddle while watching series, your brain is still producing dopamine, which gives you a drug-like high. Dr. Renee Carr, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist, says it’s due to the chemicals being released in our brain. “When engaged in an activity that’s enjoyable such as watching Netflix tv shows, your brain produces dopamine,” she explains. “This chemical gives the body a natural, internal reward of pleasure that reinforces continued engagement in that activity.
An episode or three of the best series on Netflix with your partner can be good for your relationship. It can strengthen your bond with bae, save your relationship and even be good for your general health. A little dopamine never killed anyone. Completing the first season of “Stranger Things” in one day however can lead to weight gain, fatigue, bad blood flow or worse, heartbreak! If you neglect your partner by watching too many episodes of your favourite series, you might go through a bad break-up. Don’t overdo your binge-fest! Now, sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy your series with moderation in mind. Go live your best life and do your relationship a favour by watching the Netflix show “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” on Netflix. It’s sooo good!
Remember: An episode a day, can save your rocky relationship!