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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Good For The Health? Study Says Participating In 'Horror Activities' Releases Feel-Good Emotions

Is being scared good for the health? What can watching horror movies and participating in “horror activities” do to your body?


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According to Medical Daily, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh conducted a study recently to find out why people like to intentionally scare themselves. In the study, guests who bought tickets to a haunted attraction volunteered to have their brainwave activity examined before and after the activity.

Margee Kerr, professor of sociology at Pittsburgh, said the guests reported a "significantly higher mood" after their activity; as they felt reduced levels of anxiety and tiredness. 

“That little high kicks in after your fight-or-flight rush fades away, once you realize you are not in any real danger. The response also floods your body with feel-good chemicals like dopamine. In other words, this could explain why people run out of haunted houses screaming but also laughing. Scary, high-intensity activities in a controlled environment (i.e through a movie screen or haunted attractions) might be the most favorable context for you to feel fear in,” it was disclosed.

Kerr noted that one can use the "protective frame of entertainment" to shut down a part of his/her brain while feeling scared and immersing himself/herself in heightened scenarios.

"When scared, the body releases oxytocin, which can help people become closer and bond. The brain’s survival instinct is to pair with another human, or humans, to increase chances of survival," noted Kris Kendall, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology.

On the other hand, it was stressed that if someone who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder or extreme anxiety, such an event can worsen their symptoms; while those with heart problems are not the most suitable people for extreme fright either. 

"As a cardiologist, when I think about fear or certain stressors, I usually go to the bad place. But if the stressor is someone standing behind you and saying ‘Boo!’ I can’t imagine that’s bad for you. Just as long as you don’t already have a heart condition or have a risk of plaque rupture,” advised Nicole Weinberg, a cardiologist at the Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica.

This article was filed under Health, Health news, Healthy life news, Newshealth, Healthy Living, Health blogs, Health benefits, Fear, and Haunted attractions.
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