Are Escape Rooms Stressful?
You walk into a small room with people you barely know from work, when suddenly… BAM! The door locks behind you. You look around the room to see strange objects, numbers, riddles and locks with no keys. You’ve only got your collective brain power to help you escape in under an hour. But what happens when the hour is up?!
This is how people imagine escape rooms, and, while we like to keep up this appearance to heighten the intensity of the challenge, it’s actually quite far from reality.
Escape rooms are a fun hour of puzzles and games within a set theme for you and your group to solve; there’s no consequence for not completing them, so there’s no need to be stressed. In fact, the calmer you are, the better you’ll be at finding the clues and making your escape. However, we do understand the fear people have of escape rooms if they’ve never done one before, so let’s clarify a few important points.
Are Escape Rooms Hard?
Escape rooms are hard. But they’re not stressful. When you complete the newspaper’s jumbo crossword on a Sunday morning, sure, it will be harder if you set yourself a time limit and dim the lights, but it’s still just a puzzle and nothing will happen to you if you don’t have all the answers.
Think of an escape room like the puzzle page, if you had to find each puzzle before you start to solve it. And that’s why they’re so fun! The drama, intensity, challenge and theme all work together to make the puzzle-solving harder, increasing the challenge of escaping and making escape rooms such a fun activity.
But we also don’t want to scare people off, as we know that so many people can enjoy escape rooms, which is we give each room a difficulty ranking, so you know when you book your room if it’s meant for beginners or more advanced puzzlers.
At Escape Now, we have the following rooms:
- Sherlock’s Secret – Difficult
- Haunted Hollow – Medium
- The Getaway – Medium
Can You Do an Escape Room if You Have Anxiety?
Since many people think that escape rooms are going to be stressful, it can make them feel anxious about attending, or put them off completely if they have an anxiety disorder. But there’s no need to be anxious. People with claustrophobia are often even more sceptical about the idea of being locked in a small room, but there’s also no need to be worried about this.
When you make your booking, you should tell a member of staff about any medical conditions you have, so they can make arrangements accordingly. Some medical conditions you should make them aware of include:
- Vision impairments
- Mobility issues
- Pregnancy (will you need somewhere to sit)
None of these conditions will automatically prevent you from participating, but it’s important that you let staff know before entering the room so they are more prepared to help you if you need them.
One of the main ways they can help with nervousness and anxiety is by leaving the door open! We know it’s called an escape room, but the door isn’t actually locked once you’re in there. In very few cases where the door is locked for heightened intensity, there’s always a button on the inside of the room to unlock and open the door in case of an emergency.
But if knowing you’re not locked in doesn’t calm your nerves enough, your games master can always leave the door ajar or wide open, so you can be comforted in the knowledge that there’s fresh air and you can leave at any time you want. However, one of the many great things about escape rooms is that they can actually benefit people with anxiety and claustrophobia!
Being distracted by fun activities while you’re in an enclosed space can be a huge help for people anxious in small spaces as it allows them to forget their anxiety, showing them it’s an irrational fear that can be overcome.
Why Are Escape Rooms Popular?
It may seem like we’re contradicting ourselves, saying the fear intensifies the challenge, but also they’re not scary so you don’t need to worry and can enjoy yourselves, but different people feel different ways about escape rooms. The main thing is that escape rooms are really popular!
Escape Rooms are Fun
The main reason people love escape rooms is that they’re fun. Looking for clues and solving puzzles as a group is fun because it gives us quality time with our loved ones, or helps us get to know people we previously didn’t know so well. They force us to work together as a group, communicating effectively with one another and helping each other find the solution.
Once we’ve solved a puzzle, our bodies release a hormone called dopamine, which helps us feel elated and satisfied, improving our mood and encouraging us to keep solving puzzles to get more dopamine.
Increasing dopamine is one of the mental benefits of participating in escape rooms, but improving our critical thinking skills is another. You don’t need a really high IQ to complete an escape room, but conversely, completing escape rooms can help improve your IQ!
IQ tests are all about pattern-spotting, problem-solving and critical thinking, all of which you’re encouraged to do in an escape room, whilst under the guise of a fun group activity!
Escape Room Myths
There are plenty of myths about escape rooms, and unfortunately, some of them put people off before they’ve even tried one. So let’s debunk some of these escape room myths.
Escape Rooms Are Scary
Many people mix up escape rooms and haunted houses which is why they think escape rooms are scary. Haunted houses are dark buildings where actors in creepy costumes hide behind doors ready to frighten you as you wander around. Escape rooms are moderately sized rooms filled with decorations and objects based on a theme that hold clues to discover a code or help you find a key to unlock the door and get out in an allotted time.
Some escape rooms will be based on a horror theme, like our Haunted Hollow, so the decorations will be dark and scary (thus not for the faint-hearted or young children), but there won’t be anyone waiting to shout “Boo!” unless you have a prankster in your group of participants.
If you want to avoid being scared, simply choose a room with a different theme.
Escape Rooms Lock You In
As we already mentioned, in most escape rooms, you won’t really be locked in – and the few that do, have safety precautions that allow you to get out quickly in an emergency. But you should also know that you’re not completely alone when you go into the escape room. Your games master who greets you when you arrive, prepares you for your adventure and takes you to your room, will be watching and listening to you from cameras and microphones in the room, to make sure everyone’s ok.
You’ll also be able to talk to them through a speaker system, phone or walkie-talkie, so if you would like to leave the room at any point, simply ask your games master and they’ll let you out and make sure you receive any necessary medical attention.
However, the games master isn’t just there for emergencies; if you get stuck with a puzzle or can’t find any clues, they can help you along by giving hints to clues and solutions to help you find your way out.
Ready to Escape?
Now you know there’s no need to be stressed or anxious, what are you waiting for? Book your escape room experience in Birmingham with Escape Now, today!