Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – A META-Health Perspective

Autumn has arrived! It’s a season of beautiful colours, cool, crisp days and cosy nights! But for many people, this time of year brings feelings of gloom. As many as 20% of us are said to experience a measure of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Why is this the case?

Lack of light…

SAD is said to occur because of the short days, long nights and consequent lack of light. This is certainly important – as Dr Kwesi explained on his recent META-Vision course, we should be outside in the sunlight (or at least daylight) for a minimum of 1 hour a day. Few of us do this regularly enough in the winter.

111d7945-d13c-4d12-b2ab-1ab58438e8e8But this might only be part of the picture. Another, perhaps equally important, factor is the role of the seasons and the Two Phases, the sympathetic-parasympathetic cycle.

Another pearl of wisdom from Dr Kwesi, this time from his talk at the Advanced Training, is that sunlight is sympathetic-inducing. Sunbathing is connected to the stress phase! This fits in well with my understanding of the Two Phases and the seasonal cycles. Spring and Summer correlate with the Stress Phase, while Autumn and Winter symbolise a period of regeneration.

Parasympathetic (In)activity

From the time of the Autumn equinox, we naturally shift into parasympathetic mode. You may have noticed you’ve been feeling less motivated, more restful and more prone to snacking in the last few weeks. These are typical signs of the parasympathetic regeneration phase.

Many of the symptoms of SAD are a more extreme version of regeneration phase symptoms – they include depression, lethargy, overeating, difficulty concentrating and increased occurrence of infections. As part of the Two Phase cycle, the root cause of SAD may well lie in the preceding stress phase – and not just the lack of winter sun.

An Inward Gaze…

Another important aspect of this seasonal gear change is that our focus turns from the outside (activity, other people) to the inside (ourselves, our thoughts and feelings). So the emotions of SAD may also be a reflection of this shift: as we become more introverted and aware of our inner world, we may encounter sadness, disappointment, regret or other emotions we haven’t dealt with.

In this sense, Autumn offers an opportunity to go inside, reflect on these feelings and transform them.

Bringing Balance…

bae95a10-2ee7-4449-942d-3aa916f2cf98So a META-Therapy Plan for this time of year will include actions on both sides:

– Bringing more light: Getting outside in the sunshine, stretching the body, and eating alkalising, revitalising green foods…

– Embracing the darkness: Taking the time for inner journeying – meditation, reflection, breathing practices, journalling, and therapy…

We start our META-Health Master Practitioner course in November – and this is the perfect time for it, as it’s not just about learning, but about experiencing META-Therapy: uncovering and releasing our core inner patterns.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our free newsletter and articles

* indicates required

I am interested in:

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field