James Hock - MRH Faculty
Listening to the Wind of Change
By Carson A.
With March comes spring, with spring comes change. We can see this in the world around us: the sun shines bright again, the grass turns green, the flowers bloom. The seasons changing are more than just a change in the physical landscape and weather, there are changes taking place within us.
The cold, dark days of winter can make us feel lethargic and down, commonly known as the winter blues. Dr. Michael Terman, the director of the Light Therapy Unit at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan, notes that “The turning point is the spring equinox.” He further states, “That's when the population as a whole starts to report a higher energy level, decreased sleep, reduced eating and an alleviation of depression.''
Over the years, there has been increasing research over this phenomenon. What was once thought to be psychological is turning out to be physiological. The different seasons prompt changes in our body’s internal body chemistry. Our body’s internal chemistry is controlled by our circadian rhythms (the 24-hour cycles of body temperature, hormonal secretion, and sleep) which is controlled by our internal body clock. The longer days come with the longevity of sunlight which is read by our body’s and our internal body clock adjusts us to our new 24-hour cycle.
I’ve noticed this with myself. In winter, especially at the end, I feel the lethargy and dip in motivation. I reflect the dead, stagnant environment I’m encompassed in. When spring rolls around, I internally feel the external changes around me. I feel the shift in the physical world from gray and dull to colorful and filled with energy. This shift alters my possibilities and opportunities because my perception has been tinkered with.
To conclude, we reflect the seasons in many ways. We can physically, physiologically, and psychologically feel the changes happening around us. What will you do with this change?