A Fall Perspective or SAD
Ahhh, smell the crisp air, the burning leaves and the awareness that holiday celebrations and new beginnings are on the horizon. In the first few mornings of a seasonal change, you feel the honeymoon stage of excitement. While idealizing upcoming plans and nostalgia fill your brain on the morning commute, you tend to have a momentary lapse of the cold bite of your seat and steering wheel. But after several days, weeks and months of the same ice cold seats, plummeting outdoor climates and brown slush as winter approaches, it’s easy to forget those fleeting feelings you once had at the beginning of the season.
And why is that? Something so appreciated in the beginning stages of its return each year, turns into an annoyance that reminds us to keep our eyes on the warmer months. It’s easy to get into the Scrooge mindset and start lamenting the cold weather with every encounter with it. It reminds us of spending extra money on presents, hectic shopping malls and risky driving on icy roads.
If we dive into the mindset of Power of Positive Thinking, we know that our thoughts and emotional well being can be subtly, but significantly altered with the seemingly harmless comments that come out of our mouth.
What if the crunchy leaves falling to the ground wasn’t a sign of death, but a sign of rebirth coming from the forest confetti that fall brings? What if we could keep this positive outlook, just by being more mindful of the words that we speak? By altering “I hate this cold,” into remember the good things this time of year brings, “Ahh, this snow means being with loved ones is near!” we may alter our perception of fall and our knee-jerk reaction to the cold. Below is a list of easy exercises to get you in the jolly mood, preparing you for a warm-hearted season ahead.
- Write a list of gratitudes
It has been studied time and time again and the research shows, taking the time to reflect and write out what makes you happy will actually do just that, make you happy. So at the start of each new season, while still in that honeymoon phase, write a list of all the gratitudes this seasonal shift brings to mind.
- Connect With Others
During these colder months, it is easier to stay in and bundle up rather than braving the cold to be with others. However, we were created for human connection and when we spend time with one another, we are building a network of communion around us. Connection with others is a huge factor in our health, mentally and physically. Infact, those with healthy relationships around them, are more likely to heal fast, get sick less and live longer. So volunteer at your local food bank, YMCA or shelter; get involved in religious small groups; visit the elderly in a local senior center; plan a neighborhood ‘friends-giving’.
- Retrain Your Habits
It takes 120 days of consistent effort to build a habit, so you have all season to work on this one! When we stop to think before we allow thoughts to become words, we have the power to change our environment. Every time you think to say a negative or complain about the weather, rephrase your statement with a gratitude or a positive outlook. Once getting in the habit of this, you’ll notice that you those negative thoughts become few and far between, and you’re easily able to redirect your perception.
For more information on positive living to help curb your tendencies for seasonal depression, set up a free consultation with Dr. Bennett today! Call 616-200-4433 or email [email protected]
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus