Why Do People Like to Watch Scary Movies? (Ask Teal Episode about Horror and Action Films)


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Messages and images are things that we put into our mind and body as well. The most common endorphin produced by the body is 100 times more powerful (thus more addictive) than morphine.

If something scares us, the body immediately releases endorphins, dopamine and norepinephrine. Cocaine — which has long been considered the most addictive substance on earth—does nothing more than flood the brain with dopamine. Norepinephrine, on the other hand, mimics the second most addictive drug on earth: which is speed. Our neuro-chemicals are not equal to these illicit drugs. In fact, they're significantly more powerful.

The most common endorphin produced by the body is 100 times more powerful (thus more addictive) than morphine. We become addicted to our own neuro-chemicals; most especially what they cause us to feel. The chemical's natural purpose is for helping a person through a tough or emergency situation. They can provide powerful pain relief and a burst of energy. And it is not only the rush of adrenaline that we become addicted to, it is the wave of relief that we experience one the threat has passed. Adrenaline addiction is a form of escapism just like every other addiction. It is a form of self medication.

No one enjoys being really scared. They enjoy the side benefits of adrenaline and the euphoric relief after the fear has passed. The adrenaline induced high supersedes the memory of the negative feeling of cringing and shock, which causes people to say "I like to be scared".

There are two more big reasons people enjoy horror flicks. The first is... in this society which is highly separated, our sense of community has gone away. This is a big source of disconnection and unhappiness. When you are screaming together with other audience members, you are sharing some very private emotions with strangers around you. It helps us feel connected to other people.

The next reason is that Bravery adds to the self concept. For males in particular, part of what attracts them to horror movies, haunted houses and other unsettling experiences is the ability to conquer something that seems threatening, even though it poses no real harm. This gives a sense of success and internal satisfaction.

The purpose of horror films is to entertain and thrill people. However, the idea of murder and torture as the means to accomplish this sense of thrill is disturbing at best. It is an indication of our lack of connection with life itself and with our true selves. This kind of entertainment belittles the worth of life and warps perceptions of what is tolerable. It fuels the very disconnection that we are all so affected by when it effects our physical reality. And it will because anything you focus on, you get more of.

It is deeply sad to many beings within this universe as well as me personally that there would ever be a perceived normalcy or enjoyment derived from the desecration of any life form, which is what a market saturated by images and messages of violence, horror and suspense creates. It creates desensitization and a normalcy to horror.

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that children who watched horror films or violent media were much more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors and experience anxiety and sleep disorders. Is this what we want for our future as people?

The brain does not perceive as much difference between entertainment and reality as we would like to think that it does. These images and messages do get absorbed into the individual subconscious and worse than that they do get absorbed into the collective subconscious.

Living a life that is in alignment with who we really are, and living a life that promotes well being is not just about the thoughts we are thinking. It is also not just about the foods that we are putting into our body. It is about every single thing we surround ourselves with. It is about everything we introduce to our being.

Messages and images are things that we put into our mind and body as well. We have to be very, very honest about whether they are actually beneficial or if they are in fact detrimental.

So the question I would ask you is... what images and messages do you want to put into your mind body? Are these images and message that serve your highest good?

If not, they have no business being your object of attention!