Scary movies, roller coasters, haunted houses–why do certain people enjoy such terrifying activities? Why are humans so drawn to things that scare them?
It doesn’t make sense to enjoy feeling unsafe. So, why are entire industries banking off people’s enjoyment of terror and thrill? Why do you and so many others like to be scared?
Fear gives you a boost of energy.
When you’re scared, your body works to save you from imminent danger. It boosts certain chemicals that energize you so you can run or fight when you’re facing a threat. That rush of adrenaline perks you right up!
Fear distracts you from pain.
Your body also offers chemicals that protect you from feeling pain when you’re scared. This survival instinct helps you ignore pain if you’re hurt and still need to ward off danger.
Fear kicks your reward system into gear.
The feeling of pure thrill–dopamine is the rush of thrill you get when you survive something dangerous. Rollercoasters, horror movies, haunted houses, cliff jumping, and many more terrifying activities can mimic a near-death experience.
Convincing your brain that you just survived something so dangerous can boost the reward system in your brain. This dopamine rush makes you want to do it again and again until the thrill settles.
Fear clears your mind.
Fear also causes your brain to shut off critical thought when you’re scared. Think about that- not only are you pain-free and full of energy, but now you can’t overthink anymore!
Forget about those work deadlines, relationship issues, and friend drama for a little while. This love of thrill doesn’t sound so crazy anymore, does it?
Lastly, fear can become addicting.
Your chemical reaction to being exposed to a threat can become an actual addiction. It doesn’t take very long to love the thrill of fear because of those energy-boosting, pain-eliminating chemicals. This can become a dangerous yearning if you’re just looking to escape pain, whether that’s mental or physical.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, try not to replace pain with fear. There’s no use in running from exhaustion, pain or overthinking by introducing more and more thrills to your life.
However, there’s also no harm in liking a rollercoaster or two. In moderation, enjoying fear can bring a lot of excitement and reward to your life.
For more insightful content, consider our article Why Don’t You Ever See A Great White Shark In Aquariums?