Hauntingly Healing: The Connection Between Halloween and Emotional Wellbeing

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Halloween is often associated with eerie tales, spine-tingling legends, and all things spooky. However, beneath the surface of costumes and candy lies an overlooked aspect of the holiday: Its potential impact on emotional wellbeing. This article explores the interplay between Halloween and our emotions, learning how this age-old tradition can both challenge and boost our psychological health.

“Although meant to be an entertaining holiday and nothing more, Halloween makes it seem “fun” or “cool” to dress up as a serial killer, psychopath, ghost, or dead person. For those who are sensitive to scary things, it can lead to fear, anxiety, and stress that lasts even when Halloween is over. Some people may even experience samhainophobia or the fear of Halloween [1] .”

According to Wheatgrasslove [2] , “Halloween, the holiday that unofficially kicks off the autumn/winter season, is usually thought of as a day for candy and costumes, but it can be a great opportunity for the entire family to have fun and use the frightful backdrop of goblins, ghouls and scary movies in a positive way.”

Addressing mental health, MindWise Innovations [3]  affirms, “all mental health disorders can seem strange and frightening. Without education and understanding, conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder can feel scary. The reality is, millions of Americans struggle with these common illnesses. The good news is, they are treatable.”

The same source states, “Halloween costumes that mock mental illness can easily contribute to already existing stigma – a major barrier to treatment. Stigma surrounding mental health disorders is so strong that nearly two-thirds of people affected by them live in silence and go without treatment [4] .”

How can Halloween be fun for our mental health? Sierra Foothills Brain Connections [5] considers:

  • Celebrating Halloween can help show kids they can still count on traditions.
  • Finding ways to stay connected for Halloween helps trigger a sense of wellbeing.
  • Halloween is designed to be fun and usually there are so many activities that parents don’t need to put effort into ensuring a good time.
  • They will benefit from the enthusiasm you generate and enjoying the celebration will improve everyone’s mood.
  • It is through this mental shift that we can notice and appreciate the good things most of us have in our lives.

Halloween is not just a festive holiday for costumes and candy but also plays a significant role in emotional wellbeing. Engaging in Halloween activities, from dressing up to pumpkin carving, provides an outlet for creativity, self-expression, and social interaction. The traditions associated with this holiday offer individuals a chance to temporarily escape from daily stresses, fostering a sense of belonging and nostalgia. As with many celebrations, Halloween offers an opportunity for connection, memory-making, and emotional rejuvenation.







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