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Can Watching a Movie Really Help My Recovery?

A tremendous amount of recovery time is slow time. As we put aside the substances we abused or addictive behaviors we have indulged in for years on end, we suddenly find ourselves with lots of time to fill in our lives.

It is astounding how much time, how many hours of every day, we put into our addictions. When we give them up, that amount of time becomes astonishingly evident to us. Now, we need to fill that time. Not only do we need to fill it, but we need to fill it in a way that leaves us feeling better about embracing a life of recovery. So what can we do to fill this new void in our lives?

Let’s Go to the Movies

Studies have shown that films can be one of the most effective methods of mood induction. In fact, cinema therapy is a treatment modality that can be used in treating substance use disorder (SUD), unresolved trauma, and mental health issues, So when we are feeling down and out of sorts, one of our best chances of improving our mood is putting on a classic (or not so classic) movie that we associate with positive thoughts. Whatever genre it is that entertains us, a movie has an excellent chance of turning our day around.

Now, of course, most of us do not have the luxury of turning on a flick in the middle of our workday and instantly putting a smile on our face during a particularly challenging encounter with a colleague or customer. But when we are leaving work for the day and we feel overwhelmed with cravings, having a plan in place is not a bad idea. And when we are making that plan, a movie is a fantastic idea. Why?

  • It kills about two to three hours. Time is not meant to be wasted, but sometimes a distraction from self-defeating thoughts for two to three hours is just what the doctor ordered.
  • It can turn our mood around. Finding a reason to laugh as soon as we can is essential in recovery. If we can start smiling at the end of our day, then we have already won.
  • It is a means to an end. No, movies are not real. They are not facing real life. But the plot of the right movie can distract us from the rigors of everyday life and give us the emotional strength and resolve we need to face the next day.
  • Watching a movie can cause us to think about our own experiences and acknowledge the emotions surrounding those experiences.
  • They make us feel good. Those tears at the end of a romantic film may not be based on a real story in our lives, but those are real feelings. Real feelings are always a victory. Anytime we can feel legitimately good in therapy without turning to addictive substances is a win.

There is no single way to treat life in recovery. The recovery process is a lifelong commitment and demands as much time and effort from us as our addictions. Therapy, exercise, and mindfulness are all resources for our recovery. But sometimes, we need to just sit back and relax at the end of our long day and take our minds off the real world. A movie can do that for us. If you or someone you love suffers from substance abuse, The Guest House has numerous addiction treatment and recovery options available, including cinema therapy. Please call (855) 483-7800