Comfort shows are my preferred method of relaxation

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Allie Beaumont

My personal Netflix account where I watch my favorite comfort tv shows

Comfort: to soothe, console, and reassure. In the chaotic mayhem of our day-to-day lives, finding little glimmers of comfort becomes a necessity in order to remain grounded. 

Some people may find their comfort in the presence of a genuine soul: their sibling or a best friend. Others may find their comfort in a favorite book or a particular place that holds a sweet memory. 

But for me, I prefer to find my comfort in TV shows. 

I can often be found sitting in the cream-colored, cushioned chairs at my kitchen table after school with my phone propped up and my earbuds aimlessly swinging about, just nearly avoiding whatever snack I have in front of me. 

Or maybe I will be sitting on the small bright yellow couch in the upstairs break room of R-athletics, patiently waiting for my shift to start, once again with my phone propped and my earbuds in. 

Whether it be unwinding after school, or relaxing before a crazy shift, watching my comfort TV show is what calms me down. ”

Whether it be unwinding after school, or relaxing before a crazy shift, watching my comfort TV show is what calms me down. 

Many people might jump to the conclusion that this means I am addicted to my phone, or you might be thinking I need to find a new hobby that doesn’t involve a screen. In a few ways, you might have a point, but in reality, there is actual evidence behind the effects of rewatching your favorite TV shows. 

Lucy Spicer, a London-based psychological coach, told Vogue last year: “uncertainty is anxiety’s fuel. A lot of anxious thoughts are future-focused. Sameness and repetition can help reduce anxiety as we can have an existing knowledge of how things are likely to be and, in turn, dial back uncertainty and worry. We can watch what we know over and over again without any surprises, thereby giving us the control and predictability we need.”

By this logic, watching the same shows on repeat gives the viewers a sense of control that can only be found when you know exactly what is going to happen next.

In addition to watching the same show over and over, the genre of the show can also make a difference in the level of comfort it provides. For example, my three comfort shows are New Girl, Gilmore Girls, and The Vampire Diaries

New Girl is an extremely light-hearted comedy, and when it’s on, all of the stress-filled thoughts halt in my brain and are replaced with precisely timed jokes and wholesome relationships. The same comments can be made about Gilmore Girls, despite the fact that it is not technically a comedy. The Vampire Diaries is slightly on the outs with more of a gory factor; however, the entertainment level is still unmatched. 

Everyone’s comfort show will vary, but the most important part is that it’s a show that when you watch it, your mood will shift into an immediate state of calm that will ultimately improve your state of mind. 

Like all things, viewing your comfort show should be done in moderation in order to actually have a beneficial effect on your life. 

According to Dr. Vanessa Kennedy, Ph.D., director of psychology at Driftwood Recovery, “recharging our brains can lead to improved mood and ability to tolerate frustration. The goal of comfort viewing is moderation, as the desired outcome is improving our overall quality of life as opposed to decreasing it.”

Next time you’re stressed, consider scrolling through your already-watched tab on Netflix. Pick a show you really enjoyed, and put it on again—who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself a new comfort show.