Do you have winter depression?

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Anxiety, depression and winter blues.
3 Secrets to change the internal triggers

By Audrey Sussman PhD

The beautiful, orange and reds of the changing leaves signals winter is around the corner.  This can be a source of pleasure and joy for many, but if you have seasonal depression it  leads to a sense of dread, sadness and winter blues.  It may seem strange that the change of seasons can cause such different reactions.  There is a reason that people have different reactions.

If your mind goes into a downward spiral as the winter season approaches, it’s important to understand that your reaction is not actually about the cold, snowy, grey days of winter.  If it were, all people would have the same reaction.   What is taking place with winter blues is the memories and old programs that are being triggered.  These triggers are hidden in the background of the mind. 

The part of the mind that records all your memories is called the unconscious part of the mind.  Lucky for all of us,  we can learn to speak the language of the unconscious to change reactions we don’t want.  The 1st step for changing programs that  trigger dread, sadness and anxiety as winter approaches, is to understand how to talk the language of the unconscious.   

Talking the language of the unconscious  is very different from the cognitive exercise,  of saying to yourself “I won’t get sad, anxious/ depressed this winter.”   Talking to yourself, saying mantra’s is a completely different skill, because it works only on the conscious level, instead of changing the unconscious programming that is causing the problem.  Cognitive skills are helpful, they help for a while, but since the program is still running,  the unwanted feelings come back, no matter how much you tell yourself this year will be different.   

Feelings don’t come out of the blue.  The programs that are causing the reaction were set inside early in life.  That is why it is so difficult to change unwanted reactions on the logical/cognitive level.  If an unwanted program is running in the background, we use the language  the unconscious  mind  will follow, to reprogram it.  

A good example of how talking the language of the unconscious change winter depression for one of my clients follows. Although she came to see me for a completely different problem, it turned out that Marcie got a huge bonus of getting free of her winter depression.  Marcie (name changed) came for help because migraines were destroying her happy life.  Medicine was no longer working, and the pain was so awful it was effecting her vision.  She was angry that she had no control over her bodily reaction and she was scared since  it was getting worse as winter approached. A dding to her misery was the fear of not knowing when the next migraine might hit. Each day as she got ready for work she didn’t know if she’d be able to complete her day without asking for a ride home. 

As I was getting information in our first session she happened to mention that each autumn the migraines would get worse, and in addition she started to feel dread of the cold, grey days of winter.   No matter how hard she tried to stay up and to be her normal happy self, as the trees lost their leaves she just couldn’t stop the downward spiral.    At this point she believed that she just didn’t like winter. She image of winter was  dead trees,  a dark and dismal sky, and feeling empty and dull inside  her chest.   

For years, she dreaded winter, and no matter how hard she tried,  she couldn’t stop the emptiness and depression that would overtake her.  In the last few years she realized that the migraines also increased as winter approached.  What she didn’t realize was all of this could change.  As we worked together it changed so much that winter no longer caused any reaction. She still preferred the warmth of summer, but the migraines disappeared, and she no longer felt dread and the downward spiral as winter approached.

It is always interesting to me what brings people to see me.  In Marcie’s case she was hoping to get relief from migraines.  A friend had giving her my card and it took her two years to finally get to the point where she was ready to try my program. Even after she signed up she was skeptical that anything would help.  She said I was her last hope because the medical approaches stopped working and she was told she have to learn to live with the pain.      After completing the program she was migraine free,  and she had a bonus she hadn’t imagined when we started.   She called me a year later.   What she was actually calling about was to say it’s Spring and she had gone through fall and winter without migraines, but even more surprising she didn’t have the dread and emptiness.   Best of all she didn’t have to try to change it, her feelings about autumn and winter were  just different.    It seemed like a miracle to her, but in reality once you know how to speak the language of the unconscious it is easy to get to the root of unwanted emotions and to change the reactions that you don’t want.

If the cold winds of winter bring on dread, sadness, depression or anxiety, you are not alone,  I get calls from people suffering from melancholy, loneliness, sadness, dread and anxiety every day,  and, I’d love to guide you to change. I offer a consultation where you can get your questions answered

If you want to experiment on your own there are a number of things you can start with to change unwanted reactions. It might surprise you to learn that it is possible to get total relief from even the most devistating feelings and reactions.

Changing unwanted triggers:  The first 3 secrets

The 1st secret: Knowing how the mind works. 

Think of the mind as being made up of  two different parts.
1. The conscious part:  What you are aware of,  your thoughts.
2. The unconscious part: This is the part that holds all your memories, the programs and your stuffed/repressed emotions. 

We want to talk the language of the unconscious mind in order to re-program unwanted triggers.  To first way get in touch with unconscious information is to notice where you feel each emotion in your body.

Getting In Touch With Unconscious Information: 
TIP:  The next time you feel sad, angry, depressed or anxious, take a moment to do a body scan.   As you scan your body, notice what part of your body hold the emotion (or notice where you feel tension)  

This step is really important because your emotions give us vital information.  Knowing where you hold each emotions will be of help when working to clear the whole chain of similar emotions. .   

The 2nd secret:  Become aware of your thoughts.

Conscious Mind TIP: Become aware of the thoughts, pictures and memories that go through your mind.
Many times  thoughts move so quickly you are not aware that a thought is creating a reaction. What tells you there was a thought (including the ones running in the back of your mind)  is that if you pay attention you can feel where the emotion is being held in your body. 

Two different types of  thoughts:
1.  Past events:
When you have an unwanted emotion, take a moment to notice your thoughts.  Go to the moment right before you felt the emotion in your body. Notice if you thinking about something from the past.  

2. Future Worries:
These are thoughts about possible scary, upsetting, embarrassing things that might happen in the future. When thoughts get stuck on upsetting things that might happen in the future,  it creates a negative image about the future event.  These images  usually contain  images of being rejected,  embarrassed, or being flooded with anxiety.    It is understandable that these images and thoughts increase the worry, dread, sadness, overwhelm and fear about the future situation.

TIP: When future images are causing a problem experiment with this little trick.  Since the future hasn’t happened yet, and it is your mind instead of seeing what you don’t want,  experiment with creating a positive future image.  Create something you want to see happen.    These new images will set up the unconscious for a much more positive outcome. 

If after experimenting you find that  you are still suffering with negative images and emotions  that you can’t shake, it means there is something deeper that needs to be released.  Take a deep breath and ask the question: I wonder what this emotion is about.  This might give you the deeper issues that need to be re-programmed. 

The 3rd secret: Release stuffed emotions  

The unconscious mind reacts to your thoughts.  Thoughts trigger emotions because the unconscious responds to your thoughts and messages.   Your unconscious part is constantly working in the background to manage all the information coming in from all your senses.  It takes care of sending the chemicals needed to get you ready to fight or flee in a fearful situation. T he changes in our body chemistry is what causes you to feel jittery, nervous and anxious as the body is getting ready to flight or flee.  This can lead to more fear and dread of the imagined, upcoming event. 

The unconscious is also the storehouse for all of your stuffed emotions, and the images that go with them.  In order to release emotions it helps to have a guide. .  This is the area where I can help.  I have a great track record of helping people to get free of anxiety, panic, fear, worry, pain and overwhelm. It is possible to start feeling the positive changes in just sessions. And after releasing  stuffed emotions, automatically new life enhancing programs replace the old faulty ones, and you then react with calm and serenity,  in events that used to trigger unwanted anxiety.  

About the author:  Audrey Sussman PhD is a hypnotherapist and the Director of the Anxiety Control Center.  Thirty years ago she  began her quest to find a way to help her clients to break free from anxiety and panic.  Years of study and practice went into the development of her life changing program.  Now it is possible to get relief from panic, anxiety, fear, depression, phobias, migraines as well as stomach and bowel distress. You can learn to use this step-by-step system, by listening to her seminars, in private sessions and through her self study courses.

For information or to set up a consultation click here to email her 

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