CINEMATHERAPY New research shows that movies  may be more than just a fun way of spending a few hours. A  film could lead to improved mood, physical health and well-being.  Many people cry during a sad movie, even if they normally don’t cry.  And crying is a powerful coping mechanism for painful emotions. Film affects us: 88% of children watching aggressive videos imitated the aggressive behavior. A character may  remind you of yourself,  struggling with and overcoming problems, just like you have to. You can find yourself thinking more clearly about  the decisions you’ll have to make, or use a strategy from the movie, a specific action, or just a new attitude. Cinema can reconnect us to painful, suppressed experiences, prompt new self-insights, and stimulate forms of growth. Example: If your marriage is struggling, watch “Revolutionary Road,”  and discuss how you are feeling.  Dr John Gottman showed that relationships were highly affected by the ratio of  positive to negative exchanges in  relationships. Scenes from the film illustrate this. Films can  increase the joy in  already-happy couples:  “The Back-Up Plan”  made couples laugh, smile, and hold hands.  Next time you watch a movie, why not be emotionally stirred as well as entertained, and see how you new knowledge can help in your daily life!
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