Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that can affect people during the winter. Its symptoms include a loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, or withdrawal from social time with friends and family. Attributed to a decreased exposure to natural light, SAD can negatively impact your life and make an already-cold time of year more difficult to get through. Thankfully, there are several options when it comes to navigating the winter blues. Read on for tips that can help you get back to productivity and positivity.
Although the winter months mean the holidays and fun activities like ice skating and sledding, the decrease in temperature can make people less than cheerful. It may seem difficult to stay warm without wildly inflating your heating bill, but it is possible with the simple addition of space heaters. The cold can be insidious, seeming to eke its way into your bones. If you can stay warm, you will likely be happier and more motivated to do things around your home rather than grousing, huddling under a blanket, and wishing spring would hurry up and arrive. Let warmth beget comfort and happiness.
A viable option when treating SAD, light therapy involves exposure to artificial light, most often from a light box. As the sun’s rays help your body produce Vitamin D, it’s possible that SAD may be a result of a deficiency. You can find your way out of the blues by sitting in front of a light box for as little as half an hour each day, as well as taking an over-the-counter Vitamin D supplement. As with any medicinal therapy, discuss your symptoms with your doctor to make sure this is the right approach for issues you are facing.
Though it may seem to contradict the advice to stay warm, stepping outside for a brief meditation during the daytime is another treatment option for SAD. As you center your thoughts, let your mind drift to a place that is full of sunshine and light and warmth. Rather than letting your mind run wild with thoughts about winter or the fact that you’re probably chilly, incorporate these thoughts into your time outdoors. While you’re probably not going to head outside during a blizzard or when the temperature is dangerously low, a short session (10 minutes or so) can jumpstart your practice and teach you how to meditate anywhere and at any time. Embrace the change in temperature and how it affects your body. Consider sitting on a yoga mat on the ground to better connect with the earth. Inhale deeply. Let the fresh air clear your mind. Re-enter your home refreshed and ready for cocoa.
It’s important to keep in mind that a case of the blues can be symptomatic of a more serious depression that needs to be discussed with your doctor. Try some of the aforementioned tips, noting what works for you. Above all, be kind to yourself and let your body acclimate to the wintertime. If low feelings persist despite your self-care measures, be sure to speak with a medical professional who can help you find your way back to happiness.
Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys hiking and meditating daily to keep centered. Read her work at Dose of My Own.
It’s not uncommon for people to make the generalization that meditation and hypnosis are largely the same practice. In both you are relaxed and in an almost trance-like state, focusing on inner reflection and tapping into your subconscious, focusing entirely on one solitary thought. However the two should not be mistaken as the same practice, because their differences define them more so than their similarities.
1. With meditation you practice achieving a completely blank mind, devoid of any and all thoughts. The goal of meditation is to empty your mind and eliminate stress from your body through calming thoughts.
2. While practicing meditation the emphasis is usually on controlling your breathing. By focusing on only this you are quieting your mind. We tend to not realize how much is actually going on in our brains until we try to silence them.
3. Usually you have a mantra (or mantras) that you repeat throughout the meditation process that bring you to a state of peace. This chanting of a mantra – whether it’s out loud or internal – tends to have an almost rhythmic and calming effect on our bodies and minds.
1. With hypnosis you are targeting a singular, defined result, which is one key element that differentiates hypnosis from meditation, such as breaking a bad habit or ending an unnecessary fear. Many people use the process of hypnosis to help them quit binge eating or to finally stop smoking.
2. Hypnosis is achieved through someone else guiding you to a hypnotic state. A hypnotherapist is a highly trained professional employed to lead you into a state of hypnosis before targeting your subconscious mind and helping you to remove the barriers preventing you from achieving your end goal.
It’s not uncommon for people to be turned off to the thought of hypnosis, as many associate it with magic shows and being made to do ridiculous tasks in front of an audience while in a hypnotic state. But the truth is we experience hypnosis more often than we realize – anytime we zone out for an undetermined amount of time we have experienced a type of self-hypnosis.
Meditation, on the other hand, is more widely accepted as a beneficial practice, and something many people embrace on a daily basis. Achieving a true absence of thought, however, takes a lot of time and practice.
Both meditation and hypnosis have the power to help us reduce stress and achieve a more well-rounded sense of self; and both can help us reach a predetermined desired outcome. However it’s the practice and the desired outcome that usually differ, with meditation focusing on lack of thought and hypnosis aiming to change a behavior.
Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at slaugh.slaugh907 @ gmail.com.
I had a roommate who was learning the guitar. He was overly apologetic about all the noise and made efforts to not practice anytime I could be disturbed. But I loved it. His soft, repetitive strum of acoustic strings was soothing and the perfect sort of light background music. I meditate frequently and it wasn’t long before one of my meditations and one of his practice sessions coincided—harmony.
In my opinion, meditation is about submission. It’s about letting go. I’ve become used to meditating to a metronome or a fading gong, but there was something newly challenging about meditating to music I had no control over. It was powerful.
Many people practice with music and, of course, I dream of an in-house meditation studio with luxury mats, a gurgling fountain, a customer home theater system to play meditation music and soft, ambient light. While my personal studio may never happen, music is the next best way to create a perfect environment for meditation. In the meantime my roommate’s guitar music drifting through apartment was enough.
Now, I have well-worn CDs of rainstorms and Japanese flutes that make a great background for meditation, but practicing with live music is different. Before long you get used to your recorded music and know what is coming up next. With live music it is less predictable. Meditation is all about letting go of control. Live meditation music adds another element of surrender.
Using live music to accompany meditation is not a widespread practice. Not because of unpopularity–I’m sure many more people would adapt the practice if they could. But to do it you need a musician. This artist seamlessly integrates his music into meditation sessions. The experience is similar to what happens when a group gathering has each member hold a tone. The individual hums collect into an emotional harmony. One person cannot control the sound beyond himself or herself.
Dave Antonio uses a didgeridoo, which sends out high vibrations. This makes the experience of the sound physical as well as aural. He navigates the room of meditation with his didgeridoo resting on the floor. The vibrations from the instrument increase as Antonio gets closer. The participants feel the pulses intensify and yield but are never touched directly by the instrument.
I think it’s important to experiment in meditation. What works for someone will not always work for another. Things that assisted me let go at one point in my life may no longer channel that release. But I think music is a fantastic way to encourage and structure your meditations. Recorded music quickly creates a relaxing and harmonious environment while live music provides are extra element of surrender that can really help one slip away. No matter the type of music, vibrations of sounds can easily help you channel the vibrations of the universe.