I am a full-blown wuss. I hate horror movies, I hate spooky TV shows, and the month of October gives me a general and on-going sense of the creeps. But for someone who literally looks under every bed I get into, I've actually seen a lot of horror movies. In order to continue being a functioning member of society that doesn't hide under the covers all day, I've had to come up with some effective ways to talk myself down after I've been freaked out by a horror movie. Without leaving some room and energy for self care after a spooky experience, I think I'd have a lot more work to do in therapy than I already do.
So here I've shared with you my trust list of post-horror movie calm-down methods. If followed carefully, they're foolproof. Because sometimes telling yourself that "it was just a movie" is really not enough. Sometimes you need to replace the fear with more positive and progressive feelings and that takes a bit of commitment. Here's how to un-freak yourself out:
Give Yourself A Reality Check
OK, so you just walked out of a horror film and you can't quite shake it. The first thing you need to do is have a serious reality check with yourself and separate what's real and what's fictitious. Close your eyes and remind yourself that no matter how realistic it may have appeared in the movie, there are no monsters, there are no vampires, there are no zombies, there no demons or evil spirits, and there is definitely not a killer clown or plumber on the loose.
Look Behind The Scenes
Sometimes it can be hard see a film for what it really is. One of the first things I like to do after getting freaked out or confused by something I see on the screen, is go to YouTube and check to see if there are special behind the scenes feature. Typically, there are, and when you pull back from a spooky shot on an eerie set only to see camera and tables of snacks, the fear flies out the window.
Watch Something Really Funny
Anytime I was something spooky at night, I follow it up with something funny. Give yourself an opportunity to laugh off the nervous energy and redirect your spirits. If you watch something totally silly for a few minutes, your mind will become a bit less intense and you'll be able to shake the film's effects.
Meditate And Wipe Your Mind
When you're super spooked, sometimes it doesn't help to intellectualize what you've seen. Sometimes it's just better to wipe your mind and think about nothing, pushing away scary memories from the film until they stop trying to sneak into your consciousness.
Do Something Mindless
If you don't know what to do with yourself and feel like you need to be distracted, open up your computer and play a silly game or do some online shopping. Keep the stakes low and the mood light and put all of your focus into something really mellow.
Call A Lifeline
Call a friend who has not seen the movie to help you get out of the weird headspace your in. You can tell your friend what in the film spooked you, and sometimes just saying it out loud can help you to see how ridiculous it is. Or, you can just talk about your day and have your friend distract you with a good conversation.
Fear and anxiety go hand-in-hand, so when you're scared, you're feeling anxious and your adrenaline in pumping. Give yourself an outlet for that anxiety and get your heart rate up by doing something physical.
Just Go To Sleep (With The Lights On)
Don't try to be a hero, and don't make things more complicated than they have to be. When you're ready to go to bed, just leave the lights on. There's no point in tossing and turning in the dark, just make yourself comfortable, keep a light on, and go to sleep with one less thing to worry about. By the time you wake up, the movie will feel like just a movie again, and not a living nightmare.