Halloween Can Improve Your Mental Health

Halloween Can Improve Your Mental Health
Halloween has important health benefits. Many people view Halloween as unhealthy because trick-or-treat candy fuels an irresistible sugar fest, the beginning phase of winter weight gain. However, in reality it is a celebration which can make you feel good about the self. Wearing a costume, a mask, and trying on a different identity for size, helps release another side, perhaps, something you have been suppressing, feeling tentative and shy, or something you didn’t know you had in your soul. Halloween can potentially improve your mental health by liberating your true core identity.

In a study published in the Journal of Personality, Wake Forest University psychologist William Fleeson found the idea of “being true to yourself” often means acting counter to your personality traits. If you want to feel good about yourself, try acting not like yourself.

Consider that sometimes you contain yourself to fit in with a group or you might even avoid a party because you feel like you don’t measure up, as though you are less than other people because you lost a job, or you gained some weight. It’s fun to be flexible about who you really are and uninhibitedly release your inner child. Halloween provides an opportunity to explore the multiple selves you have inside and gauge other people’s reactions in a safe setting.

If you’re an introvert, Halloween can help you emerge and delight everyone. If you are always prim and proper at work, this is your time to howl and release your sensuality. The costume you choose might provide clues to the real you – Have you been a victim of “Identity Theft?”

Halloween is all about being joyous for no reason, with a happiness and humor that emanates from within. While the fun might seem purposeless, it might prove to transform your life for the better. Fresh and unusual expressions, physical and verbal, make you pause with renewed enthusiasm. Fun makes you creative and there is almost nothing that creativity can’t solve.

As George Eliot aptly put it, “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” Unleash your imagination and create a new personal narrative. The point is that it is your self-imagination, and within this new way of presenting yourself and behaving with others are some of the deepest truths about yourself – what you wish for and what you aspire to be. What costume will you be wearing?
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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