The World Cup, a fan’s perspective…

‘We are England’, now we have said that for years and sometimes even meant it, but quickly realised we were being over-optimistic. But this time it’s different, we say it, we mean it, we believe it…

Regardless of the score (which means I expect us to bring it home!) we will still feel some level of good. It may take a day to accept the loss if we do lose, but we will still feel like we have been privileged to have taken part as a fan.

Why is it that this makes us feel great as a fan? And, even as a non-fan people are happier, why?

Well the it’s all about those lovely chemicals, Serotonin and Oxytocin the happy and hug hormones, but it’s even better than that. If we were German, Brazilian or even Spanish, (similar to our expectations of England in the past) we would have been expecting this success, in fact we would be demanding it. This time things were different for England – a very young team led by a new untested manager, so we had little expectation at all and even the press shrugged their shoulders to start with, England weren’t even worth picking on…

So why do we feel this amazing feeling? Well, it’s two things really. First, it’s the extra gratification of getting more than expected. Just think when it’s pay day you check you bank account and you’ve been paid hundreds of pounds just like you expected and you’re pleased this happened (even if it’s all gone quickly) just as you should be. But you’re not as happy, not even close to as happy, when you put on that jacket or use that bag you haven’t used for months and find £20 in it! You’re over the moon, you’re so happy you tell every one on social media of your new found fortune. That’s what being an England fan is doing to us now. This unexpected run of results has triggered the extra rush of happy chemicals into our minds and bodies and we want to share it, so the whole country is sharing it even if some are blissfully unaware of the footie, they are getting ‘the rub of the green’ as they say.

But there’s more. I mentioned oxytocin, all that hugging! We are a tribal lot at the level of our DNA and situations like this, where we can get behind our team, encourages the production of oxytocin. This is great as we all want to be on the same side and pushing in the same direction. We feel closer as a team, a group and nation, it’s part of the glue of a society. A word of warning though, it has it’s dark side too, ‘it’s our gang and if you’re not in it or supporting it, you must be from another gang’. Lots of oxytocin make us love our neighbours, and feel threatened and often aggressive to those who challenge that…

So that’s why a sporting win is so good for the fan and the country, especially if we weren’t expecting it, but remember it’s only football not war.

If you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy can help you live a happier life get in touch to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Devon, Suffolk and Kent.

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About the Author: Gary Johannes is the founder of Inspired to Change Hypnotherapy and an ex-RAF serviceman.  When he isn’t helping to empower individuals to overcome mental health issues like stress and anxiety, and teaching the next generation of solution focused hypnotherapists, Gary campaigns to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention in men.

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