SPRING AND IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH
EVERY SINGLE YEAR I look forward to spring and improved mental health! SAD (What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder) is something I have always had, I believe since a very young age. The greening of the earth brings joy to myself and millions of others every year.
I am 58-years-old and born in Canada. I should be used to winter by now and my sister tells me this. She understands that SAD is not optional and really this is her way of telling me I could shift my perspective and change the emotions I have attached to winter. I know a WILLING mind can improve perspective, recongize the link it has made and adjust it to improve mental health (How To Link Emotional and Mental Health)!
Easter and other religious celebrations signal beliefs around renewal at this time of year. My connection is to the earth and my feelings of renewal come from the green that covers it each Spring. We moved into our house in May last year, so this year I am seeing some flowers and colours I did get to enjoy last year. Someone living here previously had a liking for the colour purple. Our back yard and side yard are full of purple growth.
I am not a fan of the rainy season (often brings on migraines), but I appreciate completely the need for it! After many days of rain, the bud scales are bursting off of the tiny new leaves on the trees. The rain in-and-of itself can lead me to a low-mood day, but the budding of the plants really helps out!
We build perspective and outlook in our minds linked to symbols. Many people will have many different perspectives around the same link or symbol. I have a close friend who dislikes Spring. He dislikes increased daylight, he dislikes the warmth and is not overjoyed as I am, about all the green. It is all about perspective.
These types of links are important to our social interaction too. Spring is one suck link we make in our mind. Summer ending, leads to school. Winter weather leads to Christmas. Do you like or dislike Christmas? Your answer will have an effect on how you view the changes happening around you.
We link anniversaries of a loved one’s death or of traumatic events in our mind as well. Rooted in biology and evolution, it is a human thing to do. When it gets dark, most bodies know it is time to wind down. The sun comes up and we tend to wake up! When traumatized, we remember negative emotions. SAD is linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain and PTSD begins with a fight or flight reaction we have had rooted in our genes for ions! These links are the result of something that happens, sometimes over and over, that we have associated with an emotion. The nature of that emotion (negative or positive) is what brings blooming or sadness to the person who has made the link!
LAST WORD ON PERSPECTIVE
DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME PLEASE. Mental illness is serious illness, it is every bit a part of biology and health as diabetes or heart conditions. There is stigma in and around mental illness, with too many people thinking we just need a kick in the ass and we can be forced back to health. THIS IS NOT TRUE!
World Psychiatry has a fairly wordy abstract that you can read on perspective and its affect on mental health. I mention this so that you will understand that this is not just a notion that popped into Lynne’s head. Often this point is made by asking this metaphorical question, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Did my husbands death cause my depression or did my depression cause my reaction to his death, which eventually led to PTSD? Your perspective will give you your answer!
What is true, is that like any other illness, WE DO HAVE SOME MEASURE OF CONTROL AND INPUT. We can be proactive. We can take care of ourselves and be an advocate for ourselves. Recognizing symbols and links is one way to be proactive. Working on changing perspective, either alone or with a psychotherapist, is a way. Taking medication is proactive.
Spring and improved mental health brings to my mind a sense of awakening, to the proactive way to use perspective! Allow yourself to notice these trends, build on them and you can and will improve your mental health in some way.