Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Keep a Consistent Rhythm

pocket therapist front cover small.jpg

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

I’m not talking about rap, or your tempo on the drums. I’m referring to your circadian rhythm, the internal biological clock which governs fluctuation in body temperature and the secretion of several hormones, including the evil one, cortisol.


Here is how you establish good rhythm that assists you with the whole sanity thing: you live a boring life.

Sort of.

You have to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time. Preferably with the same person. You can’t befriend Australians, or if you do, you can’t visit them. Because travel, in general, and especially travel to different time zones, will throw off your circadian rhythm. During the fall and winter months, I stare into my HappyLite for an hour a day because, fragile creature that I am, my brain mourns the sunlight that it gets in the spring and summer.

Folks with seasonal affective disorder and bipolar disorder have to be especially careful to prevent disturbances in the circadian rhythm in order to keep their friends and their jobs.


And long-term disruption can actually do mega damage, like messing with the peripheral organs outside the brain, and contributing or aggravating cardiovascular disease.

Chronic disruption of the circadian rhythm can suppress melatonin production, too, which has been shown to increase the risk of cancer.

So I suggest you get yourself an alarm clock and a light box right now.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment stephen

    you have no idea what a help this post was, thank you !!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sam Gyura

    Ha! You broke one of your rules by be-friending me! Hope you’re well Therese x

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Christie Dunn

    Sciencedaily .com just confirmed this recently. I will have to use that light because it is so true for me.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Deb (OLD FLY GIRL)

    As may be obvious from my nickname, I flew as a Flt. Attendant for 33 yrs. Talk about messing with your rhythm! Yikes! After retiring a couple of years, I got smart! I kept regular waking/sleeping habits, AND got a light box for winter. Even though I am 7 yrs. older, I feel younger than ever now! I attribute that to the better habits definitely, and my ‘can’t live without it’ precious lightbox!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cb

    Yes, yes, yes! Love this post. I’m bipolar and I go outside to bask in the sun when winter passes and the temp begins to rise. While I don’t have a light box, I appreciate their therapeutic function. However, I took it as humourous irony, the part about living a boring life. I’m glad you qualified it by adding “Sort of” because as anyone who knows me will say, mania and boring are mutually exclusive. Never the less, I’m sold on rhythm.

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