By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Your moods probably come and go, but a psychiatrist’s new book argues that you can spot the pattern and even get ahead of it.
Dr. John Sharp hears a lot of troubles in his practices and over the years began noticing a pattern. He divides cyclical mood influences into three categories: physical effects like winter’s dark and cold, the ebb and flow of holidays and other special events and a person’s own experience with them.
Dr. Sharp tells the story of a woman whose mother had a serious mental breakdown over Christmas.
“Ever since then her Christmas was no longer filled with fun childhood memories. Her boyfriend, knowing this, goes on his knees and proposed to her this year on Christmas. She looked at him and said, “You know what I’ve been through this time of year.” And he looked at her, and he was in marketing, and said, “Honey, we’re rebranding Christmas.””
Dr. Sharp hopes that his book “The Emotional Calendar” helps more people “rebrand” their rough times.
“I say step back before the season is upon you. Take a seasonal approach and think about what’s likely to affect you and then you can make plans to kind of do a better job with the forces that are affecting you,” Sharp said. “You can either work with them or work around them.”
For example, if winter’s short days give you the blues, get out in the sunlight. Dr. Sharp says you should be active in managing your moods.