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Despite What Anyone Says, Playing Fantasy Sports is Good for Your Well-Being

Stephen Pratt is back with another article on the mental aspect of Fantasy Sports! Enjoy!

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I hope the title gets your attention so you will be motivated read the rest of the article.  A healthy sense of well-being is a good antidote to coping with today’s complicated world.  It is essential to experience moments of true happiness.

Here is the dictionary definition of well-being:  The Random House College Dictionary describes well-being as a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness and prosperity.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary also describes it as the state of being happy, healthy or prosperous.  Sounds pretty ideal to me.

Deb Dana, LCSW writes about well-being in her book, “Anchored.”  In it she discusses three elements for well-being; context, choice and connection.  Let me focus on connection.  Connection incorporates several domains: connection to self, other people (and pets), to nature, the world around us and spirit.  With good connection we find physical and psychological well-being and experience health, growth and restoration.  I believe happiness occurs when we have moments of connection to all the domains.

Dr. Robert A. Glover, in his book, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” goes over ways men benefit from connecting with other men.  My fantasy baseball league, In the Bigger Inning, has ten male owners with a very active stream to discuss league issues and what is happening in each other’s lives.  It is a good support system when another owner has personal, work or family struggles.

A recent women’s care article listed several ways for women to enhance well-being.  They are as follows:

  1. a) Build strong relationships with other people.
  2. b) Adapt quickly to change.
  3. c) Experience a wide range of emotions in a healthy way.

My family fantasy football league has an equal split of five women and five male owners.  I believe having a good mix of owners is a healthy balance for my league.  In fact, the last three league winners were women owners.

So how does all this information tie into well-being for the fantasy sports aficionado.  Fantasy participants experience connection with others, connect with other men and women, build strong relationships, go through a wide array of emotions and learn how to adapt to changes within the season.  These skills can also lead to the development of the quiet confidence. Quiet confidence will bode well as you go through a marathon season like fantasy baseball.

Now the next time someone questions your involvement in fantasy sports you are well armed with the benefits to your overall well-being.  I am reminded of the Mad magazine feature by Al Jaffe, “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.”  Hopefully you will leave doubters no satisfaction if they try to discredit your passion.

I will conclude this article with a song I heard growing up from the legendary Sheriff John daily children’s show, “laugh and be happy and the world will laugh with you.  When people see you smiling, they can’t help smiling too.”  Here’s to much enjoyment and positive well-being as you engage in your individual or multiple fantasy sports leagues.

Stephen Pratt, LMFT has been involved in fantasy sports leagues since 2003.

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