There are a lot of things that scare us, and not all of them are the same for everyone. Our brains love excitement, but our lives aren’t quite as exciting as they were for our ancestors. We no longer have to run from predators or need to avoid a stampede of buffalo, but a thrill ride still puts us in touch with our primal self. We can still get the rush of being scared without the danger. Some of the scariest things mentioned by people are the following.
Riding a roller coaster is one of those things. I suppose the danger could still be there, but highly unlikely. The thrill is definitely still there! Not everybody will even risk a ride like that, but others actually live for the excitement.
People actually seek out and pay money for those horror movies! Why would we even do that? Some people aren’t afraid of horror as much as excited by it. There is a newer idea that we can feel both positive AND negative emotions at the same time and some seriously enjoy being that scared. Sure isn’t me!
Creepy clowns terrify some people. The scientists use the word “uncanny.” It doesn’t matter if it’s just a mask or a clown as they can sure creep you out and make you uncomfortable. This is especially true with some of the horror movies involving clowns.
This is a biggie for me! I am terrified of heights. It is actually said that it’s good for you to be afraid of heights. It will keep you from getting too close to that edge of a cliff, but if taken too far it can be irrational and unhealthy. It could become a phobia when you end up being afraid of something when it actually isn’t dangerous at all.
Another fear for a lot of people is a crawling spider on your arm. You know its really harmless but you still get creeped out. Your fight-or-flight reflex is trying to kick in. Sometimes it just can’t be controlled.
Probably most everybody is scared of going to the dentist. No one likes the thought of going through some painful work going on in the mouth. Besides, nobody likes someone else’s fingers in your mouth! Of course, there’s always the bill that accompanies that trip to the dentist. That would scare anyone, wouldn’t it? Anyway, it is a fear and there’s even a word for it: Odontophobia.
Those sudden loud noises put you on high alert and make your muscles tense and jump. Your brain is trying to make sense of the situation and to calm you down. Sometimes this takes a little time to sort out to clarify if it is or is not a danger.
The last fear for a lot of people is the superstition linked to black cats. This has mostly been an American “thing.” Cats were actually sacred animals in ancient Egypt and many people in Europe and Asia still think they’re lucky. The fear of cats is called ailurophobia, and indicates you may invite trouble without knowing it.
Do you have any of these fears? If not, you are the minority. Everyone has something that seems scary to them. It’s just that some are more terrifying than others.
-Dr Fredda Branyon