Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beat the Winter Blues with the Mind

I had a wonderful Sunday morning chat with Dr Louise Greenstock a while back (you can download it at and she was talking about the power of the mind in managing mood, happiness and a whole range of other things that impact on us daily. It got me thinking that winter is a time when our anxiety can increase and our mood can spiral down; shorter days and dwindling light can contribute, but so can being closed inside or getting cold. It is important to take care of oneself and nurture the body and mind at this time of year – and particularly to find a personal mantra that shifts the focus from what you don’t want to what you do.

One strategy I use is positive self talk and gratitude.

I have developed a short ritual in the morning that speaks to the truths I know about myself and the vision that I have for the day ahead. I repeat the words to myself quietly, reiterating the positive and kick starting a productive frame of mind – almost like a computer reboot.

I am also mindful that when things get tough, the days are short and the sunlight and time seem more limited and nothing seems to be going right…I am to be grateful rather than resentful.

This is sometimes easier said than done, but definitely works and is something I have had to keep reminding myself to do for many years. For instance, instead of getting anxious and uptight about traffic jam (not a problem for me personally as I live 100m from my workplace), be grateful that the universe has provided you the opportunity for reflection or has saved you from a potential accident that may have awaited otherwise. If a work deal falls through, be grateful for the new opportunities it has presented and the time it has freed up.

It is worthwhile listening to the podcast with Louise, I have listened to it quite often since we recorded it, just as a reminder of how important the mind is to your overall wellness.

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