Netflix and how our surroundings effect us

I’m always interested in new ways to keep myself feeling good, and there are many different things you can do on a daily basis to keep your head in a good place.  One of these things is to be mindful about what you are watching, reading or listening to on a regular basis.  Although I’m fully aware of how what I watch, read or listen to can affect my sense of wellbeing, sometimes I forget the impact these things can have.

My Netflix ‘list’ is full of comedies, documentaries and life affirming, feel-good films and programmes, but occasionally I’ll feel drawn to something that keeps me on the edge of my seat, something that raises the ol’ heart rate.  Recently, for about three weeks or so, I began watching programmes/films like this over my usual go-to.  I’m not sure when this change within me happened, but it took me three weeks to feel it enough to question it.

I noticed that I’d been feeling more negative and anxious than normal, and as I’m quite good at keeping myself in check in this area, I could only put it down to the change in my night-time viewing.

So, I changed it back to what I’d normally be watching (excluding that one incredible series that had me hook, line and sinker – I just kept this viewing to a minimum!) and within a couple of days I noticed the difference in myself and my perception of the rest of the world.  I felt naturally more positive about things again in general, and much more uplifted about life.

The following study is a great example of how we can very easily be influenced or effected by our surroundings and be completely unaware of it:

This field study investigated the extent to which stereotypically French and German music could influence supermarket customers’ selections of French and German wines. Music with strong national associations should activate related knowledge and be linked with customers buying wine from the respective country.

Over a 2-week period, French and German music was played on alternate days from an in-store display of French and German wines. French music led to French wines outselling German ones, whereas German music led to the opposite effect on sales of French wine. Responses to a questionnaire suggested that customers were unaware of these effects of music on their product choices.

(North, A.C., Hargreaves, D.J., & McKendrick, J. c2016. American Psychological Association. [Online]. [18 September 2018]. Available from: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-13895-010)

With my Netflix experience in mind, the things that effect one person in one way may not effect someone else in the same way, or to the same degree.  So, some questions you may like to ask yourself with regards to this area, are:

  • What do I know has a negative effect on me and my life?
  • With your answer to the above in mind, what changes could I make to bring about a more positive effect on my life?

Please leave any comments below on your thoughts about this topic area, what you watch on Netflix etc. and how it effects your sense of well-being, and how you found answering those questions.

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