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Super Bowl Fever: It’s Good for the Brain

Super Bowl Sunday is almost here. Some doctors say the big game is about more than just sports.

Posted: Jan. 31, 2018 7:18 AM
Updated: Feb. 2, 2018 5:16 AM

CLEVELAND – Super Bowl Sunday is almost here.

And even for those who may not be the biggest football fans on the block, according to Cleveland Clinic’s Scott Bea, PsyD, there’s more to the event than just sports.

He said that a big get-together this time of year can help us get our minds away from the winter doldrums.

“We’re looking for a little bit of hope, or something to break the monotony of short days, winter weather and down feelings,” said Dr. Bea. “This is something people look forward to and plan for and it excites people.”

Dr. Bea said in addition to helping our mood, the Super Bowl is a bonding experience.

When we’re done with the holiday season, it can be a bit of a let-down and an event in early February gives us another excuse to get together again with family and friends, which is good for our brain chemistry.

“It’s a super-bonding event – it gets all sorts of fun brain chemistry going and for all of us, it’s a real tight atmosphere,” said Dr. Bea.

We all know some people who tune in just for the commercials. Dr. Bea said advertisers like to play to our emotions, particularly with humor, because our brains like the experience.

“We remember things that have emotion attached to it,” he said. “If you can trigger a sentiment of any sort, it’s more likely to stay with you, and humor is one of the easiest sentiments to get to.”

And of course, the fear of ‘missing out’ comes into play.

Dr. Bea said no one wants to be the only person in the office the next day who didn’t see what happened, so many times, we tune in just so that we’re ‘in the know.’

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