Beat the winter blues

Are the duller days and longer nights making you feel depressed? The longer nights and not so bright days affect most of us to one degree or other. There are some natural ways to combat this and "lift your mood and motivation". Below are some natural ways you can help yourself become more energetic and raise your mood.

Light treatment

Light therapy is often used in Seasonal affective disorder. For more info on S.A.D visit NHS Choices.

Hypnotherapy

Almost all of us have relived a good memory and found ourselves grinning or even laughing, sometimes people will even ask, "Why are you grinning?" You have entered a "good state" just with the power of your mind. As a hypnotherapist I communicate with your unconscious mind to help it process the bad states and achieve the "good states" more often.

How to enter peripheral vision

Focus on a point just above eye level and defocus your eyes or: Hold your hands at arm's length, palms facing you, fingers just touching and just above eye level. Focus on the tips of your fingers and start to wiggle them. Slowly begin to move your hands apart and keeping both hands in view. Take your hands to the furthest part of your vision keeping both in view. When done properly you should find you are looking forward with you eyes defocused. (Tip, make sure your eyes are looking up slightly). This is peripheral vision.

Peripheral vision

The best use of peripheral vision is when looking at the sky, day or night. Keep your head straight and look slightly up with your eyes. During cloudy days, dusk, dawn and night look for the brightest part of the sky (unless it's too bright or you are looking directly at the sun). This will help the maximum amount of light penetration. Do this for at least 10 seconds as many times a day as you can.

Get outside or look out a window

Most of us work inside and because it's cold and/or raining we tend to stay inside and when we are out we tend to look down most of the time. Get outside, look out a window or use a conservatory and use peripheral vision to make the most of the light we have. At dusk and dawn look to the sky because that's where the light first starts and last diminishes, the streets may look dark but the sky can remain light for some time afterwards.

Do some exercise

Yeah, yeah! I hear all the moans and groans, I hate exercise. Well "you can enjoy exercise", so anything from a brisk walk, to dancing around your living room. A good way to start the day is to do some stretching in your bed before you get up. Even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that "lifts your mood". So what physical thing can you do that you enjoy that raises your heart rate?

Get some hugs

Getting Hugs from the people you care about helps you feel more loved. Studies have shown that it can help lower blood pressure and in turn reduce the risk of heart disease. About 20 seconds of hugging seems to be advised. So if you know someone like me that's not a touchy feely then tell them it's for their heart. Hug your way to a happier healthier you.

Stay in contact

Keep in touch with friends and relatives. Some people literally lock themselves away because of the cold. Get out and visit your friends and family, use Skype and the likes to stay in touch.

Listen to uplifting music

Listening to music can give you that extra kick when you most need it. It can literally "raise your spirit" giving you motivation and energy. So listen to your most uplifting song to help you get in the mood.