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Frances Masters • Be Happy, Get Healthy • No Comments

How to Cheer Yourself up….Without drugs or Alcohol

I currently have a mountain of portfolios to assess this side of Christmas, but I’m not complaining. I’m seeing increasingly high motivation for Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma graduates to get out into the field and start using the products made freely available post-completion; products like the integrated session manual, psycho educational books and Power Points that can change lives and save lives too.

UKCP accredited psychotherapist, Sarah Kane attended this year’s workshops at beautiful Woburn Abbey. As part of the Master Trainer programme, delegates are asked to present to the group, to get some verbal and written feedback and be filmed too if they wish.

Sarah chose to present a piece about full spectrum light which was very well received. I asked for a copy of it, tweaked a couple of links and turned it into a nice guest blog that gives a different angle to the positive effects of sunlight for wellbeing.

I hope it helps. Many thanks, Sarah…

How to cheer yourself up… without drugs or alcohol!

Full Spectrum Light literally means “the sun’s full light spectrum that reaches us on earth”.  Imagine the colours of the rainbow, from infra-red to near-ultraviolet; all the  wavelengths are important to life on earth.

Although we’ve always known the sun is important to us, the modern emergence of the significance of full spectrum light for health goes back just 50 years. Back then NASA noticed their submarine crews were becoming depressed and ill as they were not exposed to natural light for weeks, so they invented the first natural daylight tubes with added UV to help the crew stay well.

We now spend less than 10% of our time outside, meaning we are not getting nearly enough sunlight, yet it is sunlight that promotes good mood and maintains healthy body function as light controls the release of hormones. Without enough exposure ,our serotonin levels can take a real dip. Serotonin is our feel-good hormone and low levels of this can make us feel low and sad.

Sunlight also helps keep our biological systems running.

Our own internal 24 hour clock (the circadian rhythm) controls a lot of our body’s processes (sleep, energy, eating habits, digestion, hormone release) and this clock is triggered by light and dark. Lack of natural light during the day and too much stimulating light at night, ie blue light via screens, can affect our natural sleep patterns as darkness informs our circadian rhythm to start slowing us down and get ready for sleep.

Sunlight also gives us vitamin D which helps prevent disease and can slash our risk of some cancers by as much as 60%.

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Although UV rays have a bad reputation for skin damage and wrinkling, they also trigger the production of nitric oxide which protects our heart and lowers blood pressure. This stimulates our brain, kills bacteria and helps defend against tumour cells. Glass filters out UV light, meaning we get no benefits from it indoors.

Try watching the Horizon documentary on the Bodyclock which shows the astonishing effects of lack of natural light on sleep patterns and mood. Turns out our body needs at least 20 mins of full spectrum light exposure every day for optimal health; something the Beatles must have instinctively known when they wrote ‘Good Day, Sunshine.’

Sarah at www.sarahkanecounsellingco.uk

UV, the Rewind Technique, Mindfulness Based Mind Management (advanced MBSR), worrying well, solution focus, guided visualisation, resolving addiction, epigenetics, mapping the connectome, polyvagal theory, the reticular activating system (RAS), secondary gain, trauma resolution, coaching for kids, treating depression, worrying well, working SMART, therapeutic stories, insight, psycho education, suicide prevention, affirmations, positive mental rehearsal, imagery, dissociation, goal setting, new paradigms, reframes, fast track learning, perception shifting, self actualisation, positive psychology, reframing, metaphor, personal empowerment, motivational thinking, resilience and resourcefulness, human flourishing, anchoring, rewiring your brain, the STOP System, the SAFE SPACE happiness recipe, holistic coaching and working on the continuum of wellbeing plus many other professional theories, tools and techniques underpin the content of the fast paced, fast track, Fusion training programmes. 

Summary

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.

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