As I’ve been writing these blogs, I’ve discovered that it is much easier to uncover examples of my own negative thinking during the fall and winter. A few weeks ago, I expressed to Cathy that I was tired, depressed and generally feeling disengaged from my life. She reminded me that I say that every winter. Every winter.
She’s correct. When the days get shorter, darker, drearier, colder and bleaker, I want to hibernate, and generally avoid almost everything and everybody. I don’t even enjoy my daily naps as much. It happens to me every year as fall winds down and winter arrives. Unfortunately, I’m seldom conscious of the impact until several weeks into the dreariness. It is this unconsciousness that concerns me more than anything else.
When I’m conscious I can do things to modify the impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I can get more sleep (Honey, a nap at 10 a.m. is prescribed treatment.) and pay closer attention to my diet. I can make an extra commitment to get to the gym, and remember to turn on the S.A.D. light therapy.
What I’m beginning to understand is that I may turn on the light therapy, but I’m not turning on the lights-on therapy. I seem to practice what I preach less in the winter. While I write about consciously thinking and following lights-on energy, I have less dedication to applying it to my own thoughts – exactly when I need to be doing it more.
This has a wider relevance than improving my winter blues. It’s always easier to stay positive when life is sunny. When life gets bumpy, true dedication to positive thinking is tested. This is when a thought changing discipline and practice is critical to vital living.
I saw evidence of this on two occasions this week. One was listening to someone who expressed little positive energy about his life and was listless about practicing any thought changing actions. The other was over coffee with a friend. Jon is always alive with positive energy. As we were talking, he showed us his calendar with several different daily thought reminders. When they appear he spends a moment being intentional about his thoughts. This is just one of the daily practices he relies on to stay energized.
It requires daily commitment to shifting a negative thought pattern so you can create a new energizing pattern. Seasons will come and go but our thoughts are always with us contributing to our good life or not. Find your own set of daily thought rituals and dedicate yourself to a daily practice, no matter the weather, the circumstance or general listlessness.
Spring is coming. I can already feel a different energy. I will use that to help me recommit to more meditative walks, reading more inspiring books, and if I preach it, practice it. To be on the safe side, will someone remind me in October to be more vigilant?
Applying lights-on therapy,