Superbowl Stress and Superstition

You’ve probably heard of Bad Luck Chuck – the Chiefs fan who left Arrowhead during a playoff game because he was convinced his “bad luck” presence was cursing the team.  Once Chuck headed home, the Chiefs turned the game around and went on to win big!  Chuck’s superstition is just one of many across Chiefs Kingdom.  Do you make sure to wear a special shirt on Red Friday?  Make that certain snack for Game Day?

Superstitions can be fun, and they’re supposed to be!  But can a superstition become problematic?  We asked Dr. Lauren McMiller, a licensed psychologist at University Health Community Care Raytown.

“We uphold superstitions out of tradition, and usually for the purpose of experiencing an outcome (like a win!) or preventing an outcome (like a loss),” Dr. McMiller explains.

Superstitions can be fun if you understand that it doesn’t actually impact the outcome, doesn’t guarantee a win or a loss, and can be practiced safely all in the name of fun, she says.

According to Dr. McMiller, superstitions become an issue if they lead to harmful behaviors.  For example, if the superstition becomes time consuming or causes significant distress.

Another sign, Dr. McMiller says, is if the person is unable to recognize that the superstition is not going to impact the outcome. 

Bottom line – Dr. McMiller says superstitions can be fun as long as we practice them safely and that we remember, as important as the Super Bowl is, it is a game and form of entertainment.

One more thing Dr. McMiller wanted to emphasize – GO CHIEFS!

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