No one hopes to feel scared in everyday life. Fear is a sign of danger, distress and things going wrong, but yet it’s a sensation we search out constantly.
There’s good fear and bad fear. Bad fear is usually connected to stress, it’s the knot in your stomach that makes you less productive and want to stay at home instead of going out to meet your friends. Good fear on the other hand gets you going, it makes your heart beat faster and your senses more alert – it’s the feeling you get just before that big drop on a rollercoaster, that’s the fear we’re addicted to and the fear that we like to feel in our exercise routines.
“Being scared gets us pumped up,” says psychotherapist Charlotte from Good:Mind counselling.
“Fear creates high levels of physiological arousal. Our blood pressure increases along with our heart rate and the hormone adrenaline is released leaving us highly charged and ready for action.”
When we’re scared, as well as making us physically more ready to act, our brain tells us to focus on the object of our fear and finding a way to escape it. This makes it an amazing way to lose all self consciousness about working out and make it not feel like so much of a strain. In a matter of words, we’re using horror monsters as super effective motivation coaches.
“These are two different types of fear however, the pleasure we get from horror comes from the relief that follows, offering a powerful emotional release from the mundane every day yet knowing that we are safe,” says Charlotte.
“The great thing about horror is that it’s a good way to confront a scary experience in a safe context which prompts production of the feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine.”
Fear can also bring out the best in us, it seems. As a group of strangers, with zombies on our tails, we’re helping each other out at each step of the way. The more immersed we become, the more of a team we felt. We don’t just look after ourselves, we look after the clan. It’s an instinct that quickly takes over.