Winter is coming…
The cold season that a lot of people find depressing; you’ll notice your motivation and mood is lagging, you’ll sleep more and maybe gain some weight, this has a very apt name — seasonal affective disorder.
There’s a lot of Biohacks for beating S.A.D but one mindfulness lifehack that anybody can do anytime is intermittent antidepressant meditation and it is effective at improving your mood. It also goes by the name loving-kindness meditation; which I think is a really bad name! It makes it sound like a girly, wimpy thing and it’s not! It’s a quite effective tool for managing your thoughts and emotions.
This is something I learned about in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
Loving Kindness Meditation
to increase your happiness, all you have to do is randomly wish for somebody else to be happy. (p. 158)
I tend to do a single 3- to 5-minute session at night, thinking of three people I want to be happy, often two current friends and one old friend I havent seen in years. (p. 159)
One woman reported
Happiest day in 7 years. And what did it take to achieve that? It took 10 seconds of secretly wishing for two other people to be happy for 8 repetitions, a total of 80 seconds of thinking. (p. 158)
This is an intermittent meditation method, you do it for just seconds every hour and it has a real antidepressant effect. You can spend a few minutes in the evening doing it but I find it’s most effective if I aim to spend 10 seconds every hour — which may sound difficult to remember to do. My reminder is to just do it every time I go to the bathroom which is about once an hour because I drink a lot of water and tea — there’s a lifehack!
If I do this consistently I find interestingly it’s effect to be akin to the enigmatic antidepressant Nootropic Tianeptine.
A 2017 European study got together a group of long-term meditation practitioners, it concluded
These preliminary cross-sectional findings motivate future longitudinal work studying brain plasticity following the regular practice of skills aiming at enhancing human altruism and prosocial motivation.
Loving-kindness meditation is NOT a metaphysical thing — it’s just a way of firing up your mirror neurons.
Please give that a try!