Is Being Scared Good For You?
Trick or Treat time is just about here and depending on what day your community chooses to celebrate Halloween you could be about a week away from a pretty good scare. I know when I get scared my heart starts to pound in my chest and I often find myself checking for seepage in my most personal of places. That being said is being scared a good thing or a bad thing?
I personally don't care for being scared. I don't like haunted houses, scary movies, pictures of Meryl Streep in swimwear, or things that jump out at me. A lot of people do enjoy those things and I am glad to say on your behalf that jolt is actually a good thing.
When we get scared our brain is flooded with natural chemicals that excite our mood and spread feelings of euphoria. These endorphins and dopamine are created in the body and they let their presence be felt when we get scared. It's the dopamine that creates a feeling of happiness within us and that is a good thing.
Another chemical that is produced when we get scared is called oxytocin. This is a hormone that helps people come together. It is like biological glue that bonds people together who have shared a common experience. You might experience similar feelings after your team has just won a football game on a last second play.
The act of being scared also allows us to learn how to manage our stress levels and stay calm in times of duress. Those traits come in mighty handy when the scary thing your are facing is a deadline at work or a flat tire on the interstate.
The bottom line is this a good scare is good for you. At least from a biological stand point. I can say this, if you scare me you won't have a good physical experience. I generally react with fight before flight and that could leave you bloody and bruised as I am running away to find a restroom to change my pants.