Why do we like a good scare? What draws us to haunted houses, scary movies and costumes? According to experts there is some science behind our desire to be scared.
Fear is Now
For most of us everyday life is routine and predictable, we go to work, go home and do it all over again the next day. We are often thinking about what we have to do, where we have to go, and what needs to get accomplished. However, when we are scared we are fully engaged, aware, and conscious of our current situation. We are not focused on what happened yesterday or what we have to do tomorrow.
Remember that high school psychology class? We all learned that being scared activates our flight or fight response. And that can feel good, that rush of good feelings are neurotransmitters and hormones that are manipulating our bodies, and when we know that we are safe we see this state of stimulation as a positive experience. It only takes a moment for us to realize that we are safe and switch over to laughter and joy, it is why we often scream and laugh when watching that scary movie or touring a haunted house.
When we go through a scary experience we feel strong and powerful; it gives a sense of
confidence, competence, accomplishment, and success.
Remember those hormones? The rush of chemicals can make us feel so good that we want to seek out that “high” all over again.
It is the adrenaline rush, which is experienced as positive and may have an addictive quality, as people will actively seek experiences that can lead to this rush.
We are in this together
Being scared can also make us feel connected to one another. Haunted houses and scary movies are often visited with friends and family. When we take on this experiences together can create a stronger bond, feelings of closeness and camaraderie.
Photo Credit: Pixaby