Why Watching Heart-Wrenching Dramas Makes Me Feel Good

I love to write dramas, but I have to admit I would avoid watching them sometimes.

I know that doesn't seem to make much sense. After all, how can you love to write dramas and yet, purposely avoid watching the very genre you love to write?

But it makes (or rather, it made) perfect sense to me -- particularly when I'm going through a tough time.

During those particular times, when I'd see a trailer for a dramatic film or TV show and it's about something serious and weighty in subject (for instance, The Revenant depicts Leonardo DiCaprio's character getting mauled by a mama bear), I would definitely want to see it because I love a well told, heart-rending drama.

But I would purposely put watching it on hold because I didn't want to risk bringing my spirits down. I'd reason that I already have to deal with enough stress, responsibility and problems. I don't need anything that could make me feel worse when I need to keep my chin up.

Historically, during those times, I would then switch my focus to watching comedies instead; my favorites being Big Bang Theory, The Goldbergs and Modern Family.

But what I recently discovered is that dramas don't have to make you feel worse. They actually can make you feel better, if not feel good.

This past weekend, I had the luxury of being able to watch whatever I wanted because I was sans bambino and I had a lot of dramas to catch up on. First, I watched the entire 4th season of Orange is the New Black (OITNB) and then I watched four films, The Revenant, Dances With Wolves, Room and Suffragette.

They all happen to be spectacular and moved me to tears. There are so many aspects of all these differing stories that continue to linger in my mind as I write this and honestly, some of it does make me feel sad and even angry.

For instance, as a woman, it's hard to watch Suffragette, see the mistreatment we endured at the hands of men and know that although we've come a long way, we still have a ways to go until we're treated equally in society.

But what I discovered is that they also made me feel better about my circumstances. I was able to say stuff like this to myself, "I know that times are tough right now but at least, I have my civil rights unlike many women today and in the past."

Long story short, all those gut-wrenching stories gave me a sense of perspective on my own life. They made me realize that despite some tough times, I actually have it pretty good.

So I've learned that I no longer need to put off watching a heart-breaking drama because maybe I'm not quite in the right mind frame for it. Instead, I will remember how much the story will inspire gratitude within me. And whenever you focus on gratitude, you always feel better. That's my take on life anyway.

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