Boo!: In Praise of Getting Scared

why would I love this season of intended scariness? Why would I encourage you in the joy of “boo”? Because practicing a little frisson of fear, from time to time and in good company, inoculates us from that very anxiety. Think of it as exercise. We do reps. We do laps. We rest between, and recover. In that way, we build strength without becoming overwhelmed, without injuring ourselves. The scary moment in the movie is followed by a funny one, gets resolved at the end. The scary halloween house is visited and then left, as your children turn towards you for assurance and find it. Fear, unlike anxiety, is based in the present, and the conditions inciting it can therefore be managed, giving us a sense of confidence around scary sensations that can be expanded to those selfsame anxious sensations. The breath we automatically take after the monster is vanquished, the laughter when the loud noise turns out to be a cat, the shiver of delight are all, also, forms of discharge, teaching our nervous systems to handle fear and anxiety more effectively. Continue Reading Boo!: In Praise of Getting Scared