While scary movies are exciting and people love the adrenaline rush they provide, they can sometimes cause Symptoms of anxiety By making people feel threatened.
The adrenaline released during a movie can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is designed to respond to threats by putting the body into “flight or fightResponse. This can trigger some physical responses such as a racing heart, sweating, and muscle contractions.
Movies aim to put viewers into this mode and elicit Stress. However, sometimes these feelings can linger even after the movie is over. In extreme cases, some people can experience anxiety attacks, sleep disturbances, and even panic attacks.
Here are five things a viewer can do if they feel anxious during or after watching a horror movie:
1. Change activity
If a horror movie makes you uncomfortable, it’s important to get distracted. Professionals who deal with people with anxiety disorders often recommend activities that help shift focus from the exciting activity. For example, just deliberately focusing on your breathing, but not too much, can help replace negative feelings.
You can move on to a comedy or romance movie afterwards, or repeat your favorite show. Having an adult coloring book can be very useful in addition to scrolling through funny TikToks.
2. Grounding techniques
Grounding techniques are often recommended by psychologists and psychiatrists to help people regain control of their bodies.
Unlike breathing exercises, for example, the 4-7-8 breathing technique and belly breathing, a common grounding technique is to focus on the surroundings. Humans have five senses: vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Use each of the senses in your environment. For example, notice five blue objects in the room.
3. Know your limits
Everyone has a different threshold. You must know what your limit is and what content you can consume peacefully. You may be someone who can’t stand gore movies. Some people may not be able to watch it at all and some may only watch it once a year.
There are other differences too. Maybe you can watch movies about aliens but not about home invasions and robberies. It is important to know your limits, be mindful of them, and communicate them in your social circle.
4. Keep the lights on
Horror movies can trigger overthinking and make you think of monsters that don’t exist behind the curtains, under your bed, and in your closet. This can cause sleeping difficulties which in turn can increase anxiety.
After a scary movie, make sure there are no shadows in the room. This is only possible if you keep the lights on.
Social support can do wonders for anxiety. Make sure that there are close people around you while watching exciting movies. Studies have shown that pets also reduce anxiety. If you live alone, staying in touch with loved ones over the phone can help.