Some people love watching scary movies and there’s no limit to the on-screen gore they can handle. But for others, the slightest hint of horror is more than they can deal with. Neuropsychologist Dr. Theo Tsaousides explains that the fear we get from watching horror films is “more like a tickle than a punch” and that just like some people are more ticklish than others, some get spooked more easily and respond more intensely.
If that sounds like you, but you want to try to get through a scary movie, experts say this is how to do it:
- Figure out which horror sub-genres you can handle – Start with something that’s not going to traumatize you. If you don’t want to see super gory stuff, try a psychological thriller, or a funny scary movie, so you get a few laughs in between the frightening scenes.
- Remove visual and auditory tiggers if you’re freaking out – There’s no shame in shutting your eyes when you’re totally terrified. And if it’s the sounds of people screaming on screen that get to you, hit mute, cover your ears, or leave the room for a minute.
- Look up spoilers – Doing research into what happens at the end can help ease your pre-film dread and you can also look up how gory a movie is before watching it, so you know what you’re getting into.
- Watch with others – There’s safety in numbers and watching with a group of friends can make you feel more secure.
- Think logically about your fear – Ask yourself if your fear is factual or fictional and why the things you’re scared of are getting to you.
- Keep the lights on – Everything is scarier in the dark, so it may help you to view the movie with the lights on.
- Know when to stop watching – If a movie is traumatizing you, don’t force yourself to watch it. Know when to say no to a creepy film.
Source: Refinery 29