Many anxiety sufferers discover their own ways to cope along the way, whether it involves therapy, exercise, music or medication. However, should you be having trouble figuring that out for yourself, there is an unexpected method that surprisingly helps – watching horror movies.
Broadly writer Abby Moss in his article writes that subjecting yourself to fear and emotional distress is exactly the kind of medicine you need to cope with anxiety. While it is pretty much unheard of as much as it sounds dubious, her explanation really makes sense.
When I first noticed the effectiveness of this unconventional way of coping with anxiety, I pretty much freaked out: What was I, some kind of psychopath who derives comfort from the suffering of others? Is it just me? I asked on /r/anxiety, the Reddit forum for the topic. Is there something wrong with me?
While horror films aren’t a true alternative to seeking medical help if you need it, I was nevertheless inundated with responses from people saying they’d noticed the same thing. “I too have noticed horror movies make me feel better,” said one user. “It creates a different anxiety, an anxiety that isn’t about me, ya know?”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety signifies repeated feelings of fear or worry in every day life, and for many, that equals to unwarranted interrupted sleep, panic attacks, nausea and a plagued social life. Perhaps that is why horror movies help – there is a worry involved, but it doesn’t directly involve the person watching.
Patricia Grisafi of LunaLuna Magazine writes, “This disconnect makes perfect sense. After all, coping with real world situations is sometimes intolerable for people with sensitive nervous systems,” She adds, “Dulling our senses with inexplicable horror and violence just might help a disordered nervous system become more amenable to everyday crises.”
Who knew? Try it and let us know if it works for you!