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Being Scared – Why Do Some People Like It So Much?

Scary faces
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The thought of being scared terrifies me. That is a great and confusing opening line for a story isn’t it? I have never enjoyed being scared. I don’ like scary movies. I don’t like scary music. I especially hate things that jump out at me suddenly and I am not too fond seeing Joan Rivers in broad daylight.

There is a thrill that is attached with the act of being scared. Let’s see if we can figure out what that thrill might be. If you aren’t familiar with the term adrenaline rush, you are about to be. The need to be scared and react to it is actually hard wired into the chemical make up of the human species. In primitive times the “fight or flight” response was quite often the difference between surviving or waking up dead the next day.

The fight or flight response that our body is built with does a couple of things for us. It makes temporarily stronger physically. It makes us temporarily more mentally sharp. These changes come about due to an increase in certain hormones in our blood stream. Adrenaline is one of the key ingredients in this fight to the death chemical cocktail.

Much like the same rush people get from jumping out of airplanes or watching the wheels on a slot machine land on Double Diamonds, this chemical cocktail can become addictive. There are those among us who crave this feeling of invincibility and walking through a haunted house or watching a scary movie gives us that stimulus we need to go on a hormonal bender for at least a few minutes.

There are other ways to get the same endocrine kick in the pants that don’t require a man with a chainsaw chasing you through the fragrance department at Dillards. You might get the same kind of rush watching a sporting event or participating in a sporting event. Many people notice a similar feeling while  playing video games. Some women have even noted that finding an item on a sales or clearance rack will give them the same euphoria as climbing a mountain.

The bottom line is this, being scared, getting scared and how we react to being scared are built in process. It is our mind that tells us what kind of situation best suits our needs for this chemical assault on our bodies to be a pleasurable experiences. Personally I don’t care for haunted houses and things that go bump in the night. If I am looking to get really scared I just ride in the car while my daughter is driving.

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