Tips for surviving your Halloween horror movie marathon.
It’s Halloween, so you might be planning a scary movie marathon.
But if you’re like me, after a scary movie ends you just can't shake that eerie, disturbing feeling.
(ok, if you’re actually like me, you can't stomach a scary movie trailer, but let’s move on.)
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.
Shaking off the post-horror-movie anxiety is a matter of changing the way you think about the scary images.
You can start by confronting the fear.
How likely is it really that a murderous, vengeful witch is lurking behind the shower curtain?
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!
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.