Meditation – the Cure for Winter Blues

  • How many of you are waking up to another snow day? Besides those living in the ski-friendly state of Colorado, raise your hand if you are excited for more snow, ice, sludge and cold? When I lived in Seattle I experienced six weeks of no sun. Winter and fall were all gray with an occasional peek of light until the arrival of summer. Fortunately, I found that my meditation practice protected me against the mood dips associated with diminished sunlight, a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

    The American Psychiatric Association defines SAD as “a subtype of major depressive episode.” Like regular depression, it is characterized by general sadness and lack of energyweight loss or gain, inability or excessive desire to sleep, mood swings and the urge to withdraw socially.

    The difference is that it’s seasonal, hence the “Winter Blues” nickname. Thankfully, the blues-busting power of meditation is easy to tap. And this is not my personal bias. Medical and academic institutions from Harvard to the Mayo Clinic have acknowledged meditation’s health and mood enhancing benefits.A few conditions it’s been noted to help include:
    • PMS
    • Infertility
    • Anxiety
    • Aging
    • Insomnia
    • Endorphin Production

    How can one tap this goldmine of benefits? I recommend a 3-Step Process:

    1. Balance Your Energy

    • Inhale through the nose for 10
    • Hold the breath for 10
    • Exhale through the nose for 10
    • Repeat 3 to 6 times
    • Why: Regulated breathing helps harmonize brain waves.


    2. Third Eye Meditation

    • Sit up straight
    • Close the eyes and gaze up to the point between the eyebrows
    • Keep the eyes relaxed yet focused
    • Watch the breath:
    • With each inhale repeat a focus word like “peace or joy”
      • with each exhale repeat a focus word like “calm or love”
      • Keep awareness at the forehead or top of the head
      • Remain passive – don’t seek outcomes
      • Do 10 – 20 minutes twice daily
    • Why: Concentration on the frontal lobes and crown of the head stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands and mood-elevating, mind-enhancing hormones.

    3. Visualization

    • Recall a joyful event
    • Focus on the feelings
    • Bathe in the joy; bring it to the rest of your day
    • Why: Mental imagery reproduces the same chemical processes as actual events.

    Practicing this 3-Step process – Balance Your Energy, Third Eye Meditation, & Visualization will raise your energy, enhance your emotional state and life quality. These are not pills but time-tested skills … and they will deliver. Practice them and you’ll be a happier, healthier, more life-affirming person for it!

    Originally published on GenConnect.

    Alan Pritz

    Rev. Alan L. Pritz, an Interfaith Minister and spiritual disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, began consulting in 1988. He founded Inner Resource Enhancement - later LifeALIGNMENT (DBA Awake-In-Life) to offer innovative Lifestyle Management, Work/Life Balance, and Performance Enhancement seminars for business, healthcare, and educational organizations. These programs blended holistic vision with practical application to help clients lead more productive, meaningful lives. Noting an increasing need for personal training, Rev. Alan later added Executive Coaching for corporate leaders to aid in the more subtle EQ and Spiritual Intelligence factors of their pre-existing skill sets. Rev. Alan served as adjunct faculty at the U of St. Thomas Management Center where he developed and taught a workshop on spirituality in the workplace. He subsequently was asked to write a training component on this topic for the American Management Association in Training for Tough Topics (AMACOM: 2000), addressed the National Wellness Conference on Opening Organizational Doors To Balance & Spirituality, developed an integrative medicine training on Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality for the U of St. Thomas Center for Medical Affairs, wrote numerous articles concerning related themes for Minnesota Physician, Employee Benefits News, Twin Cities Wellness, The Edge and has been on various radio or public speaking events. His work has been written about in journals including Business Ethics Magazine, Employee Benefits News, and Alternative & Complimentary Therapies. To provide an outlet for his deepest passion, teaching meditation and spiritual practice, Rev. Alan started the Center for Inner Awakening (2005-2009) as a nonsectarian yoga facility to help people nourish their inner lives. As part of this expression, he wrote Pocket Guide To Meditation (Crossing Press: 1997), Meditation As A Way of Life (Quest Books: 2014), and produced several CDs of devotional chants and meditation. He subsequently became ordained as an Interfaith Minister (2010) so people of all faiths would feel included and, accordingly, be more receptive to learning. His principal interests are expressed through private practice work that offers meditation training and spiritual counseling / guidance / life coaching services to help individuals and organizations address inner growth and work-life issues from a higher-perspective framework. To learn more see Awake-In-Life.com. To schedule an appointment, call 612-721-4100. Past and Upcoming Releases: Pocket Guide To Meditation | Meditation as a Way of Life, due out in October 2014 (Quest Books)

    View all posts by Alan Pritz.

    Recent Releases

    Pocket Guide To Meditation - Book

    Meditation As A Way of Life - Book (out Oct. 2014)

    The Art & Science of Meditation - CD

    Heart Songs: Meditative Chants from the Paramhansa Yogananda Tradition - CD

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