by Vera Remes
What is your perspective on the New Year? Are you feeling positive, or are you needing to find a positive perspective for a seemingly negative situation? Even if you are welcoming the opportunity to improve in 2018, are you feeling that 2017 was less than satisfying? Have you made a resolution for 2018 that reads well but seems unreachable? Perhaps you are being affected by the winter blues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real, even if I myself have trouble understanding it. I welcome the short, darker days of winter as a change from the longer sunbaked days of summer. For me, snow and freezing temperatures as a cleanser for the earth to get it ready for spring. I want to live where there is a winter. It’s this season that provides me with a yin to my yang, an up to my downs.
How I react to the season is a matter of perspective. Perspective for me is not zooming out to see the gestalt of life but instead seeing the good in any situation. That’s my choice. That’s the prism through which I try to look at everything: seeing what good can come from, even a bad situation, and finding what I can learn from it.
A seasonal perspective
Consider SAD. The list of symptoms suffered by the photo-therapeutically-challenged closely resembles those related to depression. One specialist from Harvard Health suggested a treatment for SAD to be phototherapy. The exact mechanisms by which the light treatment works are not known for sure, but the exposure to bright light employed in phototherapy is believed to readjust the body’s circadian (daily) rhythms, or internal clock.
Psychotherapy seems helpful as well, and it is used routinely in conjunction with phototherapy. Think chicken and egg relationship, and how depression relates to the seasons. Do the seasons affect the sufferer because they are depressed, or are they depressed because of the seasonal changes? There have been studies that indicate that light therapy helps treat general depression. Other studies report that suicidal tendencies occur, and there are still more studies that indicate no difference exists between light treatments and psychotherapy.
With contradicting data, what harm could there be in treating winter blues with my drug of choice: a positive outlook?
What is “bad”?
When something seemingly bad happens, I try to see what good may come of it. I pause to ask myself, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” I was surprised to hear a good friend asks herself the same question. She is a Buddhist and one of the most serene people I know. This friend feels the question transforms any negative situation into a teaching moment. By asking this question, you remove your concentration from the problem and place it instead on what good may come as a result.
Apparently, my friend and I are not the only ones looking for the teaching moments in all we experience. Jonathan Robinson is an author and the founder of Finding Happiness, a website that offers many practical tips for finding deeper happiness. After a particularly negative airport experience on his way to give a workshop about, of all things, letting go of stress, he formulated one question to ask yourself when challenged by circumstances beyond your control.
Every time I hear the lyrics to the Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers,” I am reminded that the universe has a plan for us all. Our job is not to figure out that plan, but instead to try not to get in the way. Remember: there are no good or bad situations, just ones that provide learning experiences for us.
Finding positive perspective when you’re stuck
On my Raven Reiki website, I give interested people a variety of methods for finding positive perspective by looking forward and inward. There are better ways to deal with any negative situation: drumming, regression and/or progression therapy, shamanic counseling, hypnosis, spiritual guidance, etc. I welcome email inquiries if you would like to learn more.
Are you interested in finding positive perspective, but aren’t sure if this is the right path for you? A discovery consult with Danielle Rose is a great way to check in. Through her, you can see if Raven Reiki or another service is the right one for you. Let us help you recognize the positive aspect of life’s negative energy so you can move forward with more ease and better health.