Go ahead and get spooked!
‘Tis the season for spooks and spirits, spine-chilling stories and hair-raising horror movies. And while we typically tend to give fear and fright negative connotations, it actually turns out that they’re not so bad after all. In fact, they may be reaping you health benefits. (If you love being scared, here’s the reason why.) “Fear, or getting scared, is an emotion that’s part of our biology as human beings, just like other emotions such as sadness, joy and anger,” says Steve Orma, PsyD, clinical psychologist and author of Stop Worrying and Go to Sleep: How to Put Insomnia to Bed for Good. “It serves a purpose that’s crucial to our ability to survive.” Here are six solid reasons to increase the spook level on your scare meter this Halloween.
Being scared alerts you to harm
This might be the most obvious reason, but it’s definitely the most important. “Fear is our internal alarm bell for danger,” says Dr. Orma. “Without the ability to feel fear, we wouldn’t live very long because we wouldn’t be aware of, or care about, the threats around us.” When we get scared, our bodies react physically so we can handle the danger, also known as our fight-or-flight response. This response gets triggered when we perceive some danger or threat to ourselves. “Without the fear response when we’re in dangerous situations, we wouldn’t have the energy, strength, focus or speed to fight or flee,” says Dr. Orma. If a car is racing toward us, our fear gives us the ability to react in a split second and jump out of the way. Without the fear, we would get hit.” Here’s how the science of fear makes U.S. soldiers stronger.