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Seasons change and we change too - how to stay happy throughout the year

Posted on 23 October 2018

I have been running cognitive hypnotherapy for anxiety clinics in both Harley Street and Henley on Thames for many years now. This has given me a good feel for the changing patterns of the year with different seasons bring changing moods. And this time of the year can be tough if you have a tendency towards anxiety or depression. Autumn always brings more people through my door as for some people it can be a difficult time.

At this time of year, nature is changing fast and the nights are drawing in and for many people this gives a feeling that things are slowing down, or even closing down and this can feel uncomfortable.

Autumn is also a time when we plan and concentrate on the future. It has a ‘back to school’ feel, even for those of us who left school longer ago than we care to remember! This means it is often the time when businesses we run or we work for are planning for the next period and this can lead us to thinking about our future in all sorts of ways. If we have underlying discontents or traumas this can start to feel very unpleasant.

Autumn can also bring a feeling of nostalgia and even regret, it is the time when your focus swings away from the sun and the holidays and back to your work. If there are underlying problems at work, perhaps you are being bullied or harassed, then you may feel you must confront those problems. Suddenly they can be back at the forefront of your mind, with all the stress that can mean for you. Even if there is nothing specifically wrong, the change of pace can be challenging especially if you feel discontented and as if life is passing you by, then your discontent can feel stronger.

If you are feeling like this then please book an appointment with someone like me. My skills will help you pinpoint exactly what the problem is and I can then use proven and skilled techniques to help you overcome it.

But while you are here I want you to think about framing things differently. Here is what I mean.

I am sure you can think of people who absolutely love autumn. You know the ones, they are out there at the weekends kicking the leaves about, taking brisk walks and delighted to be wearing their new woolly hat. In the week they are the ones who are always first in the office. They are getting on with the latest project plan and saying how pleased they are to be back working at full speed.

If this is not your nature, can you still learn from them? I think you can, by doing just a few simple things.

Here are two or three ways of protecting your mental health at this time of year. Welcome autumn and you can get a lot out of the changing seasons.

 

Welcome both indoors and outdoors

Natural environments and exercise are proven ways of lifting your mood. Try to get out for some good country walks as often as you can. Choose somewhere that gives you the benefit of the changing colours of the autumn. The blazing colours of autumn may lift your mood. The National Trust knows this and produces a list of the best walks with the best colours. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/best-walks-for-autumn-highlights

Another proven way of improving your mood is to do something new. Welcome the fact that you will spend more time indoors as the nights get longer by taking up a new pursuit. Pick something you know you will like, perhaps something you used to do but stopped. Set yourself an achievable goal, bake an edible cake, or even an Instagramable cake in three weeks anyone?

Keep up the social

One thing which we know is good for our mental health is that in summer we are out and about more and we tend to have more contact with other people. We may even talk to people we do not know!  We know from research that people with friends and a strong circle of acquaintances have better mental health. Here are some suggestions of ways to meet people. You can even dovetail this with your exercise and doing something new.

Join a fun run. A Park run is a great place to start. Here is more about them and a list of their runs around the country http://www.parkrun.com/

Join a book club. If you do not know of one in your local area this is a great site to find one https://readinggroups.org/

Commit with your partner or some friends to go out once a week. Choose somewhere new as well, or do something new. New experiences keep your brain more flexible and may even ward off dementia.

Conclusion: go with nature

Try some of the things above and you will almost certainly find your mood lifting. If you need more help do contact me (you can call me on 07920 054292) and let’s have an informal chat to see if I can help you in a more targeted way. Perhaps for you autumn is an opportunity, your chance to put those problems behind you once and for all. 





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