Spooky Season

How to calm those post-scary movie jitters

Tips for surviving your Halloween horror movie marathon.

It’s Halloween, so you might be planning a scary movie marathon.

Shutterstock

But if you’re like me, after a scary movie ends you just can't shake that eerie, disturbing feeling.

Shutterstock

(ok, if you’re actually like me, you can't stomach a scary movie trailer, but let’s move on.)

Shutterstock

That post-scary-movie feeling? According to psychologist Kristen Lindgren of the University of Washington, that’s not fear, that’s anxiety.

“Anxiety is when that fear response goes off at a time that isn’t actually dangerous, but it’s seeming or feeling like it’s dangerous,” Lindgren says.

Shutterstock

Shaking off the post-horror-movie anxiety is a matter of changing the way you think about the scary images.

Shutterstock

You can start by confronting the fear.

How likely is it really that a murderous, vengeful witch is lurking behind the shower curtain?

Shutterstock

Watching behind-the-scenes footage or blooper reels from those movies can also re-contextualize them, further cementing the fact that the images are not real.

You can also change the story in your brain. Imagine that zombie movie suddenly turning into a Michael Jackson music video!

Shutterstock

Finally, repeated exposure can help, too. Watch the movie again, and see how it leaves you feeling the second time around.

Read more about shaking scary-movie anxiety here.

Shutterstock

Share