How To Beat Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

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1) Meditation and yoga help

Meditation help has been one of the best “medicines” for any mood swing I suffer from. Meditation is defined as quieting the mind, and letting your mind rest and hear your inner voice (or for the more religious, the voice of God.)

There are many types of meditation. I practice several kinds: Zen meditation, also known as zazen. This is best learned initially in person at a Zen center, but basically I place my hands in a certain mudra (position), sit cross-legged, stare at a wall, and count my breath for at least five minutes.

I also am a major practitioner of Kundalini yoga, Kundalini relaxation, and Kundalini meditation. I’ve taken many in-person classes, such as at famed instructor and fitness guru Gurmukh’s Golden Bridge Yoga Studio in Los Angeles. I’ve also taken them at Santa Monica Yoga, Yoga West in Los Angeles, and Seek Balance Kundalini Yoga in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Actually, it was Seek Balance then Yoga West where I had my earliest starts.

Kundalini methods work on the entire emotional, physical, and spiritual system, and I practice at least some chanting, deep relaxation, and yoga at home or when traveling each day. I especially like using the mantras Sa Ta Na Ma (which means birth, life, death, and rebirth) and calling on Guru Ram Das for emotional healing.

2) Writing

Even if you’re not a professional writer, writing can do wonders on beating the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Here’s some suggested writing exercise that I’ve used to combat negative emotions often associated with the winter blues.

Suggested Writing Exercises

Write without stopping on whatever comes to mind. Set a pre-determined time limit (perhaps five to 15 minutes) or page limit (such as one to three pages.)

Write letters to your Higher Power, or God. Rant about what is wrong, or praise what is right.

Write a gratitude list. A self-help recovery friend taught me and many others a great way to do this. First, write down five things you are grateful for. These can be as simple as water, shelter, food, air, and lie. Second, write down five things you did well, and then five goals for yourself. I also like to write a few affirmations to myself, such as “I am loving, lovable, and loved.”

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