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Psychological benefits to being a March Madness fan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – March Madness can take a toll on fans emotions. Fans get excited for a game, their energy is up and when they win a game, they feel good, but when they lose, it’s a different story.

“The excitement all by itself is such a rush for people and the endorphin’s, that is something that promotes happiness,” said Lynne Shine, LMHC, CRC, NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

March Madness is in full swing, bringing fans from all over the country together, rooting on their favorite teams. Psychologists told News 4 there’s psychological benefits to watching March Madness.

“When you socialize people feel good, so getting together and feeling good and putting the brackets together and anytime it’s a good time for a party, people feel good and it increases happiness,” said Shine.

Experts said it even increases productivity in the workplace.

“I think at work it’s just something to get excited about in the office and after work there’s always something to do,” said Zach Shroyer, March Madness fan.

The comradery increases happiness too when individuals surround themselves with others that share a common ground.

“There’s a lot of people who have rooting interest so you kind of get the momentum with other people and that helps build your excitement towards the event,” said JJ Hughes, March Madness fan.

Psychologist’s said March Madness isn’t always full of benefits, it can have negative affects too.

“People need to remember that when you are drinking too much that people get depressed. If they’re gambling too much and lose a lot of money then people can get depressed. If people lose, then domestic violence increases,” said Shine.

“I definitely feel worse when they lose, I didn’t sleep last night, I lost every game,” said Jim Abbott, March Madness enthusiast.

The let down though, is a temporary depressed feeling and it often goes away.

“What’s important is that you don’t take it home with you though. You leave it there then it’s a new day the next day,” said Abbott.

Experts said the good thing about March Madness is that it comes at a time where people are getting ready for spring and nicer weather. So if fans are depressed about a game, they have something else to look forward to.