‘Tis the season for scary things - like ghosts, goblins, and horror movies. So, here and now, I have the science of fear. This is what actually happens inside your BODY when you’re afraid:
Within A SECOND of seeing or hearing something scary, your eyes and ears send signals to your brain, triggering an instant adrenaline rush, which temporarily increases your strength and speed. At the same time, your body begins pumping out cortisol, the stress hormone, which causes a spike in blood sugar. That helps give you extra energy to react to danger.
And within THREE SECONDS of being frightened, your heart begins pumping faster, to get more oxygen to your muscles. Meanwhile, your brain sends signals to your stomach, telling it to stop digesting food – so you’ll have even more energy to either fight or flee!
Within FIVE SECONDS of feeling fear, your brain begins releasing dopamine, the feel good chemical, to help relieve any pain you may experience. For some people, that dopamine rush is so powerful, their terror can actually feel thrilling, which is why some people love to be scared at Halloween!