Halloween Thrills Can Be Good for Your Mental Health & Reduce Stress of Daily Living Learn Why From The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Los Angeles | October 17, 2022 01:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time
During a time when many of us are anxious about daily living, the thrill of a Halloween fright might alleviate some stress, according to Dr. Michele Nealon, Psy. D., President of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
“There’s a psychological release from knowing that we can overcome our fear and enjoy the feeling of being exposed to crisis or threat in a safe environment,” she said. “This could be exactly the kind of release we need from our daily stresses—even if it’s just for a few moments.”
“When you visit a haunted house or watch a horror movie, there’s a rush of adrenaline, endorphins and dopamine,” Dr. Nealon added. “This rush is translated by our brain into feelings of euphoria, satisfaction and empowerment when the fear subsides. We get a sense of relief and well-being.”
Thrill seekers who test their own limits can also reinforce bonds with others when this experience is shared, according to Dr. Nealon.
But there is a downside to Halloween that Dr. Nealon warns about. “When we mock the disadvantaged, the mentally ill, those with special needs, or anyone with a perceived difference, we contribute to stigma and discrimination which makes it even tougher for people living with adversity. This Halloween, and always, be mindful that there are those around you who are struggling—they need your support, your kindness, and not your taunts.”
“Today, we have enough real fear and anxiety in our daily lives. Halloween frights can be an appropriate way to release some of the pent-up tension in our bodies so that we can better tackle the actual challenges we face,” she said. “At the same time, it’s a time to reflect on how we, as a society, need to focus on how to better serve those most in need of our support and kindness, understanding that this is an important step to community wellness for all of us,” Dr. Nealon said.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Vivien Hao, Public Relations Manager