Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Depending on where you live, winter may be almost over (if it came in the first place).  If you live anywhere near me, you may have another couple of months to go.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can have impacts on people at various times through the fall and winter.  Here are a few tips from Psychology Today to help with SAD.  

Treatment for SAD
You may be able to treat mild symptoms of SAD yourself:
·    Bright sunlight—especially in the morning—and outdoor activity can help boost your mood. Going for a walk before work or during your lunch break may help alleviate some of the problem.
·    Find some enjoyable wintertime activities. Participating in outdoor activities like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing can reduce negative feelings about the winter months.
·    Bright light therapy is another effective option. A specially-designed light box can simulate sunshine and regulate your body's internal clock. Similar to a bright spring day, daily exposure to the bright light may be able to prevent the body from producing too much melatonin.

·    Cognitive behavior therapy and medication may also be effective in reducing symptoms. These therapies may be used in combination, or combined with bright light therapy.

See the full article from Psychology Today HERE

Sean Maynard, CMHC

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Seeking Genuine Happiness

Some of the most discouraging moments I’ve had as a parent have come as I’ve watched one of my children go through a stretch of life where they just seem genuinely unhappy.  I’ve often felt helpless in those situations to do much to improve their mood short of buying them a pony or giving them an unlimited supply of candy, which is not only unrealistic, but is also not going to change their long term sense of true happiness anyways!  Fortunately, there are some skills that we can teach our children that will actually affect their level of happiness.  Thousands upon thousands of studies have been done on happiness and what things contribute to a true sense of happiness in one’s life.  The following article contains information from one of these studies in which 12 behaviors/skills were identified that happy people do differently than unhappy people.  These are things that we can actually teach our children or ourselves if need be!  They are principles that when worked on and applied in our lives, will  lead to a truer sense of day-to-day happiness.