why do we love sports so much

The thing that drives you. The reason behind your ambition. The thing that catapults you (or in my case, not a morning person, slowly drags, but drags nevertheless) out of bed each morning. Your why. Whether or not we realize it, there is a why behind everything we do and there are ways in which to increase the motivational capacity of our "why's". My junior year of high school, in my English class, we examined how rhetorical strategies in literature, advertising, etc. all employ a motivating force. John Lennon once identified the two main motivating forces in a human's life as fear and love. When we are afraid of something, we draw back out of a desire to avoid the very thing with which we fear coming into contact. When we are motivated out of love or rather, passion or concern, we are motivated to action rather than inaction. I've found myself in the middle of quite the paradox regarding my personal, general, overarching "why". I so badly want my decisions to be motivated by love, by ambition, by the selfless care of others, by passion, that I fear of making decisions out of fear. Ironic, right? Here's my reason behind why I'm wary of making my decisions out of fear: I'm talking about the big decisions, not things like,
I'm afraid if I take the 2 train after 1 am, I'll get mugged, so I avoid the 2 train. That decision is COMPLETELY motivated by fear and that's not a bad thing. Seriously, people, if you're ever in New York, avoid the 2. BUT, ANYWAY, as I was saying, my reason behind why I'm wary of making my decisions out of fear is because fear is crippling. It is paralyzing.


Fear prohibits you from moving forward to whatever it is that rests ahead. Inaction is the enemy of ambition. Inaction is the opposite of pursuit. And I want the things in my life, my goals, my opportunities, the people I love, to be held close to me because of my conscious decision to include them in the fold of what I hold most dear. I want the things and people that bring me the most joy to be avidly under my pursuit, not just remaining in my life by happenstance. So I guess you could say that my "why" is the constant pursuit of intentionality behind my endeavors, but most importantly the pursuit of intentionality in my relationships with my people. I want to glean the most out of my hobbies and pastimes and passions by pursuing them fervently, and in turn, hopefully bettering myself for how much of my heart and soul I invest into these things. I want the people I love to not only hear and know that I love them but to feel that I love them because of the value I place on really knowing and caring for their hearts and everything about them that is intrinsic to who they are. Without a "why", you can't get very far. Motivating force to a person is as gasoline is to a car. Your "why" catapults you toward your goal. It is what you have within your reach, even while your goal may still seem out of reach. It is what you are able to cling to, on the days when you feel in a rut, desolate, without hope, and as though giving up would be the easier and better option. And while, in the moment, giving up might in fact be easier, it won't get your toward your goal; it won't satisfy your why.


I know in times in my life where I've had a hard time defining and establishing end goals for myself, I have first tried to define and establish why it is that I want to end up achieving that certain goal, and once I've found my motivating force for why I'm doing what I'm doing, I've found that it's much easier to get from point A to point B. If you can't yet find your goals, first, find your why. We all have a "why", even if we don't know it. What's yours? We know how passionate sports can make us feel, especially if a team wins a. Maybe you ve felt like you re in a with your sports team. Science has found it can go even further, that your team might affect you to the point of. The emotions seem real, but does watching sports actually change our brains? ASAPScience, the answer is yes. Here s what s actually happening in our brains when we watch our team play: We feel dominant: After watching your team win, levels of testosterone skyrocket, especially compared to experiencing a loss, according to ASAPScience. So if you re a tortured New York Mets fan or a, there aren t many surges in testosterone. because the team you root for is so constantly dreadful. that increased levels of testosterone, among other things, can influence dominating and aggressive behavior. This can help explain why so many after sports championship victories. We feel a rush of pleasure: Some fans experience dopamine surges whenever their favorite team or athlete fares well. describes dopamine as a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain s reward and pleasure centers. It helps regulate emotional responses as well as movement.


Whenever a fan s team experiences a win, that individual s pleasure centers will be ignited. We actually feel like we re playing in the game: Cells in the brain called mirror neurons activate when sports fans watch games. help people understand the actions of others and allow people to put themselves into another s shoes in other words, to feel empathy. When it comes to watching sports, these mirror neurons cause fans to internalize the actions they re witnessing on the field and feel the accompanying emotions as if they were doing the action themselves. In other words, we feel as elated about the the game-winning touchdown as the football player who catches it. The sadness we feel when our team loses can be as acute as if we were on the team ourselves, even though we didn t actually win or lose anything but several hours of our day. Other hormones come into play with sports fandom, as the We know from endocrinology that our hormones engage when watching sports, as they do in the presence of any competition: testosterone, adrenaline, cortisol and oxytocin are all active in fans, with some connections better understood than others. While people get invested in sports and teams for different reasons, the hormonal reactions can be similar. And what s going on in our brains explains why we keep on watching: We re looking to recreate the physiological excitement [we] can t seem to forget from big team wins, according to ASAPScience. The result? As put it, we re basically addicted and keeping coming back for more whether we re from Boston, Philadelphia or.

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