So spring is here, it’s starting to get warmer, the days longer and the flowers are starting to bloom. With warmer and longer days, we all feel a little fresher, able to cope with new challenges and we all seem to have a little more energy.
A report in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests there is a strong biological link between the seasons and our energy levels and our mood in general. With spring comes an increased level of serotonin, which makes us less lethargic, and far more optimistic. Ask yourself this, do you feel more motivated and ready for the day in the spring?
We’ve all heard that expression – spring clean – and it’s something most of us do in our homes, opening the windows and letting that warmer, fresh air circulate through our homes. But a spring clean doesn’t have to just relate to our homes, spring is a great time for an assessment of your own mental health.
A spring clean of the mind is all about self-reflection, looking back and dealing with your past, and then focussing on the future. Canadian researchers found that there is less serotonin (the brain chemical associated with improving our mood) circulating in the brain during autumn and winter. Seasonal, decreased serotonin levels are linked to decreased mood and increased lethargy.
Our very own Avy Joseph, Principal of the College, explained in a Daily Telegraph article that over the winter months many of us get stuck in a feeling of unhappiness triggered by an event, such as a marital breakdown, that we can’t get past. “You have to challenge those beliefs that trigger the feelings (such as a belief that you are a failure after a divorce) and then accepting what has happened judging yourself as a failure. Understand that whatever happened is an event fixed in time and that life, like the seasons, moves on. Accept yourself as a valuable person who has imperfections.”
But how can we do this? Avy explains: “Bad things do happen but you can recover from them. Reflect on your life regularly; set aside a small amount of time to ask ‘Am I going where I want to go?’ And take time to meditate or relax, to be still and accepting. And then think of ways to be positive, to appreciate the world around you”
By doing this we cleanse our minds, ready for whatever new things the spring and summer months have to offer.
Spring is a great time to cultivate friendships, invest in relationships and to explore our own personal growth, through books and courses, for example. Many of us have lots of interests we would love to follow more, or things that we want to learn but we never seem to make time for. Making time for personal growth can give you a new way of thinking and behaving in the world .
At the College of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, spring is a great time for people to discover and explore an interest in Hypnosis, Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy. It’s one of the reasons why the college runs its foundation course in spring (starting the end of April). It’s a part time course that runs over weekends, so it doesn’t affect your day to day working life. These types of courses are perfect to help you feed your interest, but are flexible enough so you can fit them into your daily life. For some, taking new courses can even lead to a fresh career, a fresh start to their working lives.
Spring in your step
So this spring, take the time to clean out nor just your home, but also your mind. Give it a good clean with some self-reflection, look to the future and be positive, and then take advantage of those increased serotonin levels, the warmer and longer days, and feel that spring in your step return…