Nearly half of Earth’s population watches the World Cup, a major sporting event that kicked off June 12. All around the world, sports are a major part of people’s lives. We bond, argue, cheer and even cry over teams we have designated as ours. And as a participant, some dedicate their lives to playing a game.
Playing sports has an obvious impact on our physical wellness. But being both and fan and a player of a sports team can be amazingly beneficial to our emotional, social and mental health.
From soccer to gymnastics, being part of a team means putting in the effort to condition regularly. Like any exercise, endorphins are released from the brain and lift your mood. Actively participating on a team can reduce depression and increase energy. It facilitates a feeling of togetherness, support and self-worth, therefore combating feelings of isolation and low self-esteem.
But for the non-athletic, just being a fan of a team can improve your mood. Research has shown that identifying yourself with a particular team increases self-esteem and social skills. The sense of community that being a fan provides makes it easy to get connected with others and build relationships. Attending sporting games is a great opportunity to bond with family and friends, therefore increasing overall happiness.
The important part of being a fan or playing on a team is to remember that it is a game with unexpected wins and tough losses. The passion for our team should not override the joy of just being part of it.