At the end of a long day of work, you might enjoy nothing more than curling up on the couch to watch the next episode of your favorite show, snacks in hand. But is watching your favorite TV shows hurting your mental health? According to experts, there are a number of physical and mental signs that might mean that you should take a break from a specific show for a while.
There's no need to write off all TV shows as harmful, though. In fact, they can actually be a major tool for improving your mental health. "Watching TV shows that are calming, inspiring, humorous, or comforting can help (temporarily) ease symptoms of anxiety and depression," Emmy Crouter, MSW, LSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with young adults, tells Bustle. "People often associate certain shows with positive memories," she says. For example, if you grew up watching Spongebob every night with your siblings, maybe it's time to return to some of the lighthearted episodes every once in a while. Or perhaps The Office reminds you of a time in your life when you had fewer responsibilities.
Here are some signs that the shows you're watching could be hurting your mental health, according to experts.