It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.
“New research has found that tragic films can actually make us feel happier. The findings, published in the journal Communication Research, suggest that those tearjerkers have a way of bringing our attention to important relationships in our lives.” (“Why We Love Tearjerkers”; HuffingtonPost.com 3/27/2012)
I sort of hate tearjerkers.
Except Beaches, of course. And A League of Their Own. And Man on the Moon. And Grey’s Anatomy. Private Practice.
So….yeah. Maybe I don’t hate them all. But I rarely sign up for them. I’ve never seen Terms of Endearment or The Notebook, mostly because I’m never in the mood to sit for two hours and come out the other end a sobbing puddle of lunacy.
Turns out, according to this latest research, that indulging in a little sob fest will actually make me happier. It will make me think about all the people I love–my family, my husband, my friends–and count my blessings.
According to the Science Daily article about this phenomenon, “The more [the study participants] thought about their loved ones, the greater the increase in their happiness. Viewers who had self-centered thoughts concerning the movie — such as ‘My life isn’t as bad as the characters in this movie’– did not see an increase in their happiness.”
Point being, we get our happiness from thinking about others, not thinking about ourselves.
This is especially relevant research for me, as I seem to have an appointment to see that new Zac Efron/Nicholas Sparks film on Friday. I’ve never seen a Nicholas Sparks movie, which, I’ll admit, is a point of pride for me. But if it means a Friday night with my friends, then fine. I’ll go. Sobfests are indeed a girlfriend affair. And now that I know the movie will make me happier, and more grateful for my pal, well…that’s double fab.
Plus, I’ll get some time with Zac Efron’s abs. So there’s that.
What’s the tearjerker that gives you your best cry?