Sunday, January 20, 2008

Having a Bad Day?

I like the sun.

Part of that is the sun’s role as sustainer of life on earth, of course, but also because I just feel happier when sunlight lasts longer.

And I’m not alone. Many people actually suffer from winter depression, clinically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (with the perfect acronym “SAD”), due to the lack of sunlight.

According to Dr. Cliff Arnall at Cardiff University, this well-known syndrome is part of the reason why tomorrow—Monday, January 21—will be the most depressing day of the year.

This article from Time addresses Arnall’s formula, which also includes holiday shopping bills coming due, chilly weather, unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions to predict that the third Monday in January is “Blue Monday.”

Many academics write off his theory, but so what? It raises some interesting points: If putting ourselves in debt and making unrealistic resolutions only make us depressed, why do we keep doing these things?

I spent some money, but I can pay the bills. Every day or two—not just New Year’s Day—I resolve to do something better, but I try to set achievable goals.

We control our own mood much more than we give ourselves credit for. Therefore, I resolve that “Blue Monday” is a day of celebration, not a day of depression.

Think a happy thought. Do a good deed. Acknowledge the great things going on in your life.

And realize that your attitude does not depend on sunlight or others’ views. Happiness comes from within.


At January 20, 2008 10:02 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I agree. Happiness comes completely from within.

At January 21, 2008 5:52 AM, Blogger Nessa replied to my musings ...

A very wise post today, David. If more people accepted that they really control their emotions, moods and lives, instead of blaming other people or other things, they'd be much more happy.

At January 21, 2008 8:41 AM, Blogger LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

Vitamin D helps your body when you feel the sun lacking... my doc swears by it and so do I.

At January 21, 2008 12:52 PM, Blogger Tina replied to my musings ...

Hmm. I will now consciously try to make Blue Monday a happy day but I must say that before I moseyed over here, I was quietly having an anger fit at the world for no good reason which could possibly be explained by the subconscious things that go into making Blue Monday Blue.

But alas, no more! It shall be a happy day. The 2nd gin & tonic should help with that...

At January 21, 2008 1:06 PM, Blogger Barbara replied to my musings ...

I agree with you to a certain degree. But for those who suffer from serious clinical depression things can be so dark emotionally that they are incapable of choosing to change their attitude. I wish it were that simple, I'd never have a bad day, I would choose happiness. I am not denying this is possible, I've changed my own mood many times...I am just saying its not an option for some people.

I hope you never have to experience that kind of darkness. Its almost unbearable, and for many it is (i.e. suicide)

At January 21, 2008 1:39 PM, Blogger Robot Dancers replied to my musings ...

I was already smiling today but now I will try to make someone else smile and brighten up their day...

even if it involves threats and sturdy rope.

At January 21, 2008 4:24 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Angel: It seems like a simple idea, yet it's hard for many to live by.

Nessa: A change-up post, indeed! But necessary.

Lisa: A great tip--I think I'll pick some C up next time I go to the store.

Tina: One anger fit averted is a good thing. Unless the bastard you were directing it at really deserved it!

Barbara: Well said. My comments were directed at those who choose to wallow in their own down feelings--not those who have lost the ability to choose.

RD: Smiling while issuing threats makes them all the more credible.

-- david

At January 23, 2008 3:23 PM, Blogger Pixie replied to my musings ...

I agree with AJ, I always (try) to look on the bright side of things but then I guess I am also a lot luckier then a lot of people and haven't had such a hard life.

I can see why some people would be a little down but then I see people who have it all so to say who just are so pessimistic all the time.

At January 24, 2008 12:05 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

It's definitely a mental thing. We've all had reasons to end it all, (or it seemed like it to us at the time) but it's up to us to make something out of it. Deep down, I just feel that everything works out for the best.
Growing up where it's cold, wet and gray from Nov-Mar, I had to find things to brighten my mindset. In the end, we need to be responsible for ourselves, and that's the problem. It's never someone's problem or fault anymore, and too many people rely on someone else to pick them up.

At January 25, 2008 11:04 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Pixie: Pessimism is a seductive thing, no doubt about it.

Mike: I like the idea of finding things to brighten our mindset. Today, for me, it's '80s music.

-- david

At January 25, 2008 11:37 AM, Blogger Jack replied to my musings ...

Happiness does come from within, but I am done with all of this rain. Give me back my California sunshine and summer.

At January 25, 2008 1:47 PM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

I had "Blue Monday" off and enjoyed myself very much. Even if I had worked, I still would've managed to be quite happy.

I agree with Abe Lincoln, (and I'm paraphrasing here), you're pretty much as happy as you decide to be.

At January 27, 2008 8:55 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jack: Right now, Cali is getting more rain than we are in the east!

Cube: I never so you as an over-worrier. I didn't picture you as wearing a tophat, though.

-- david

At January 28, 2008 7:48 PM, Anonymous Partially Insane replied to my musings ...

I use a desk lamp at work that I point almost directly in my face all day even though it's relatively well-lit in my office for this very reason. Having more light really does help you feel somewhat more human.

I don't use it as an excuse for my homicidal tendencies though. That's just a hormonal imbalance. Plain & simple.

At January 30, 2008 5:40 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

Funny how we posted on the same subject...SAD. It will pass, I know this...

At February 04, 2008 8:39 PM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

winter sucks, period, the end

At February 06, 2008 12:22 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

PI: Desk lamps are the new miracle cure, eh?

DaBich: It's that time of year.

Ray: And with that, we end this post.

-- david


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