As summer draws to a close, the days grow shorter, and temperatures drop. Kids go back to school and that upbeat summer vacation feeling begins to fade. For about twenty percent of North Americans, the Winter Blues will soon begin to set in. About a quarter of these will suffer from the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder, with the appropriate acronym, SAD.
Winter Blues is a widely known, but little understood phenomenon, which causes unhappiness to sufferers, with symptoms such as: irritability, apathy, lower self-esteem, increased appetite and weight, concentration difficulties, and even the feeling that life is not worth living, amongst others.
As life becomes ever more stressful, and conflicting demands on time and attention vie for a limited number of hours, state of mind becomes more important. The beneficial effect a happy disposition has on health and productivity is well known.
We can control and increase our happiness to fight off those Winter Blues and avoid seasonal mood fluctuations.
Just as the warmer, longer, sunlit days brighten our surroundings and mood; so the cultivation of a few simple habits can help to maintain that feeling of happiness and wellbeing all year long.
It’s part of my deeply held philosophy that genuine happiness is achievable by anyone. It has nothing to do with DNA, wealth, beauty, fame, or any of the superficial trappings often associated with happiness. Happiness comes from within.
Ultimately, we all want to be happy; and absolutely everything we do is aimed at increasing our happiness, and yet, we often do things that actually move us in the opposite direction!”
We are all meant to be happy, but because of the way society has evolved, there are key realizations from which most of us would benefit. By addressing and assimilating these into our lives, we amplify our predisposition to happiness.
Concepts that are often misunderstood are:
- Understanding that all feelings are good: you just have to understand their message;
- Not all selfishness is bad: you are also important;
- Realizing that the power of our mind is far greater than we think: you make a choice whether to use it, or not; and
- Resisting things we cannot control is an enormous waste of effort, which we should rather utilize for positive results.
Note: This article was written with reference to the book, Your Life Manual: Practical Steps to Genuine Happiness, in which the concepts mentioned above are expanded on in detail.