Whenever you feel stressed or a bit overwhelmed by your career, and just life in general, you may think you should do something productive and active to help your mood. However, doing something more chill, such as watching your favorite movie, may actually be just as beneficial. In fact, there is a form of therapy known as Cinema Therapy that is the use of film to help people deal with some issues that they may have. There is a bit of strategy when it comes to the success of cinema therapy, though. You can’t just binge-watch a bunch of movies and expect that to help you out. Here are the ways films can help you cope with what you’re dealing with in life.

Emotional Release

Some people may find it difficult to express their emotions in ways like sobbing or hysterically laughing. Movies help people feel safe enough to release their feelings in a space where it is acceptable to react in such a way. It’s cathartic to be able to open up emotionally in response to a movie, especially if you are dealing with something personally.

Movies That Reflect Your Situation

You may want to watch an action or a comedy when you’re feeling stressed to escape the reality of your situation, but this may not help you out the best in terms of cinema therapy. You should choose a movie that reflects on or discusses your situation. For example, if you are dealing with a loss, you should watch a film like Steel Magnolias. It can be therapeutic to watch characters navigate and deal with such tough situations on screen so you may then learn to manage them yourself.

Take Note of Characters

Going along with finding a movie that has characters or a plot that relates to what you’re going through, you should also take note of which characters made an impact on you. While you’re watching a movie, take note of the characters, whether any of them have positive qualities that you may want to emulate in your life. It may even help to write down these traits as a way to outline any change you want in your life.