Watching horror movies can improve mental health and happiness, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of California Los Angeles. The study, published in the Journal of Horror Studies, claims that watching horror movies can have various positive effects on the mind and body, such as releasing stress, boosting immunity, and enhancing creativity.
The researchers surveyed 500 horror fans and 500 non-fans about their mental health, personality, coping skills, and movie preferences. They also measured their physiological responses to watching horror clips, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance.
The results showed that horror fans had lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress than non-fans. They also had higher levels of positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement, and amusement. Horror fans also reported having better coping skills, such as humor, problem-solving, and emotional regulation. They also scored higher on measures of resilience, optimism, and self-esteem.
The researchers explained that watching horror movies can help people deal with their own fears and challenges by providing a safe and controlled way of experiencing negative emotions. They also said that watching horror movies can stimulate the release of hormones such as norepinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline, which can reduce stress and enhance immunity. Furthermore, they said that watching horror movies can stimulate the brain’s creative regions, which can improve imagination and innovation.
The researchers also suggested that horror fans may have developed a psychological immunity to fear and negativity over time, which makes them more resilient and optimistic in the face of adversity. They also said that horror fans may have a higher tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty, which makes them more adaptable and flexible in changing situations.
The researchers concluded that watching horror movies can be a beneficial form of entertainment for many people, especially during times of crisis and uncertainty. They also recommended that non-fans should give horror movies a try, as they may discover new aspects of themselves and their emotions.
“Watching horror movies can be a fun and healthy way of coping with stress and anxiety. Horror movies can help us face our fears and challenges in a safe and enjoyable way. They can also make us happier, healthier, and more creative. We encourage everyone to watch more horror movies and enjoy the benefits they offer,” the researchers said.