The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, turn on some kids’ cartoons! It’s not just the bright colors and cute animation that help improve our mental health. Cartoons can actually provide relief by presenting a more uplifting vision of the world, and messages of hope and comfort.
That’s according to Jack Cahalane, chief of adult mood and anxiety services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He says, we already know that laughing, and the endorphins it releases, lower blood pressure and trigger feel-good brain chemicals. And cartoons are perfect for that purpose because they’re lighthearted and creative, so they help people stop ruminating. That’s compared to watching a drama, where the emotional upheaval can add to a person’s stress and anxiety.
Plus, cartoons are generally short, and don't require intense concentration, like a drama. And psychotherapist Dr. Laurel Steinberg agrees. She says, kids’ cartoons can be a good addition to treatment because they incorporate themes like community, friendship, family, and good winning over evil. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, take 30 minutes to watch kids’ cartoons.