Is It Bad to Binge-Watch Shows?
With online streaming, binge-watching our favorite shows is easier than ever. Many streaming platforms give you access to complete series or seasons of a show at a time, and some automatically start a new episode, creating a streaming loop. Binge-watching has both positive and negative consequences on your life and mental health.
The psychological effects of binge-watching do include some positive effects. When you binge-watch TV:
- You can develop closer relationships with a community of show enthusiasts.
- You can self-soothe and relax.
- You can deflect other negative pastimes, like alcohol use.
- You can relax with friends and family in person or virtually by enjoying shows together.
- You can learn from what you watch, especially if you choose documentaries or affirming shows.
Like anything, binge-watching can become a problem if you spend too much watching or if you can’t control your habit. Negative impacts of binge-watching TV include:
- Less physical activity, which can impact your health.
- Unhealthy snacking in front of your favorite shows.
- Neglecting exercise and socializing, which can harm your mental health.
- Getting overly invested in shows, so reality isn’t as appealing anymore.
- Sleep disruptions, which can impact your health and even work performance.
How to Stop Binge-Watching
If you can’t stop watching or notice problems in your relationships, health, interests and work, you might have an issue. If you’re having trouble walking away from your screens, try these tips:
- Create boundaries: Only watch a specific number of episodes per week and tell someone about your commitment to stay accountable. Once you’ve used up your episodes for the day or week, shut off your screens.
- Find new activities: Set aside time each week to pursue a hobby, get out of the house or try something new. Replace some of your watching time with other pursuits.
- Make it social: Try watching your favorite shows with friends or family, so you can encourage each other to take breaks.
- Limit drinks and snacks: This will reduce some of the harmful health impacts of bingeing.
- Create a healthy routine: Going to bed at the same time every night and having routines can limit how much time you devote to watching and ensure you don’t stay up all night bingeing on a show.
Do You Need Help?
Addiction to entertainment, including TV shows, is not uncommon. If you or someone you know is affected, contact Taylor Counseling Group to book reliable, affordable care.