During these colder and darker days we need to embrace the tools that help us to regulate mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is very real for many of us. Cloudy days can reduce the production of serotonin due to the restriction of light. Serotonin is sometimes called the happy chemical, because it contributes to wellbeing & happiness.

Take care, look after your mind, it’s extremely powerful just like you. Here are three of my favourite techniques that you can use to help to regulate your mood and serotonin levels during the winter months:

Fractal patterns 

Many studies show that exposure to fractal patterns in nature reduces people’s levels of stress. It seems that this stress reduction effect occurs because of certain physiological resonance within the eye. Some research indicates that certain types of artwork that have patterns can also produce a relaxation effect. An overview of the most amazing fractals in nature can be found on Treehugger’s website.

Experiment for yourself & place yourself in fractal rich environments for about 20 minutes daily for a week. Notice the stress levels before & after each episode. See how you can use fractals to bring more calm to your day.

Immersive installations

Recently during London Design Festival, I was reminded of the restorative power of immersive experiences. The combined power of art, design and technology to transform your headspace and perceptions, giving your brain a little mental massage and moment of relief from the outside world.

There are a couple of great installations coming up where you can experience this for yourself:

Movement and pink noise

Light therapy and physical movement that activate the production of endorphins & dopamine can be used to ease symptoms of SAD. Not only is your brain dumping out feel good chemicals, but exercise also helps your brain to get rid of chemicals that make you feel stressed & anxious.

The sound of raindrops can also be very comforting, especially when paired with rest. The theory behind this is that the pitter-patter of raindrops is a form of ‘pink noise’, which decreases brain activity & consequently improves the quality of sleep.