Mental Health Benefits Of Transformational Festivals
Maintaining a stable lifestyle is very important. It’s a sliding scale though as some struggle with it more than others. In everyday life, especially in tough situations, it’s best to have a positive outlook. In addition, transformational festivals can provide warmth and healing to those who need it most.
How Positivity Works
When you are in a large of group people generating positive energy, it becomes contagious and everyone shares in the jubilation. It starts with the individual. If a person carries his or herself in an upbeat manner, more people are going to want to be around them. These people emanate good vibes and feel warm!
According to Susan Heitler, author of From Conflict to Resolution, we gravitate to these people because, “these folks feel safe to share with, like sunshine, they radiate good feelings. They’ve set good vibes as a relationship standard.” She also explains how positive energy is quite medicinal. For example, subconsciously your body spurts out feel-good chemicals, and positive words, smiles, and eye contact trigger these chemicals, serotonin and oxytocin, causing them to rise.
In contrast, negative vibes and feelings can cause these chemicals to decrease, which subconsciously sends you the message to “stay away”. This positive sensation caused by these subconscious feelings is called “sympathetic resonance.” People feel vibrations just like objects. If a heavy breeze is causing a tree’s limbs to sway back and forth, that’s comparable to how a person’s energy can cause a shift in mood.
The Benefits Of Transformational Festivals
Transformational festivals can concentrate these positive feelings into an entire event. James Childers, a producer and creative enthusiast, has dealt with his fair share of negative energy. Not content with Western medicine, Childers subscribes to alternative forms of healing, one of these forms being transformational festivals.
Childers tells MiLLENNiAL that he was treated “differently” by people his whole life because he suffered from bipolar disorder. He wants people who are perceived as different to be supported and accepted. Too many stigmas about mental illness exist and people often don’t react normally and instead treat it as some alien phenomena. Coping this diagnosis, Childers constantly seeks ways to heal and feel “normal”. Having been medicated before, he now actively fights his tendencies without the use of prescription drugs.
A few ways he cites as natural healing remedies starts with breathing techniques. Taking deep breaths from the stomach, using sound (vibrations), and dropping down from the mind to the heart. Childers explains that the neurons in the heart actually operate faster than the brain. He further emphasizes that transformational festivals like Lightning in a Bottle are a safe place without judgment and have many definitive qualities that make them unique from ordinary summer music festivals like Coachella or Sasquatch. According to Dr. Kelly Neff, these qualities include:
- Eco-friendliness and conscious sustainable living. Some of these festivals provide 100% recyclable or biodegradable plates and utensils, provide organic, vegan food options and use solar power and Biodiesel fuels to generate the elcetricity.
- The practice of tribal healing and dancing rituals.
- Radical inclusion: an unconditional offering of hugs, smiles and acceptance.
- Workshops! Seminars on everything from fire dancing to break dancing.
- Educational mind expansions. This includes massage, energy healing, crystal therapies, elixirs, oils, plant medicines, meditation, and breath work
- Experimentation and the opportunity to embrace different cultures.
- The potential for psychological healing. Through a warm and peaceful environment people can heal from various disorders which include: agoraphobia, PTSD, anxiety, and panic disorder.
The experience of mass positivity in a large group is euphoric and transcendent. It is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Attending transformational festivals is definitely a cool way to do it. For more information and listings of local festivals visit Festival Fire.
Andrew is a graduate of McDaniel College (’13). He is also an aspiring writer and stand-up comedian. He believes that if you are passionate about something, you should go for it! Life is too short for question marks, live life to the fullest while exploring your dreams and see what happens! Andrew presently lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.