Home Inspirational Stories Exploring Mental Well-Being Through the Autumnal Lens of Dreams and Melodies

Exploring Mental Well-Being Through the Autumnal Lens of Dreams and Melodies

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Is it autumn already? The season’s arrival is sweetly serenaded by The Mamas and The Papas in their song, “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey.” Similarly, Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” celebrates the vibrancy of autumn colours that eventually fall to the ground. These tunes capture the essence of autumn, a time ripe for reflection, reminiscent of Judy Garland’s daydreaming in The Wizard of Oz, where she initially sang the Oscar-winning song, “Over The Rainbow”, in 1938.

Looking at the future one day at a time is perhaps a better approach, since that’s the reality we live in. As summer concludes, focusing on the positive aspects of the last three months can be comforting. Dreaming is inherent to our nature, a nightly escape our minds undertake. Yet, for many, like myself, recalling these dreams remains elusive. Despite cognitive challenges that hinder visual daydreaming, I find solace in my four remaining senses. No biggie!

Broadway’s magic often illuminates the whimsy of dreams. In 1965, Man of La Mancha graced the world with “The Impossible Dream”, a song many artists have since embraced. Fast forward to 1980, and “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables touched hearts globally. These timeless melodies from two incredibly successful ventures continue to inspire. Keep dreaming, all.

Individuals with mental health issues or cognitive impairments often face challenges with their dreaming functions. I’ve grown accustomed to this, applying techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to combat negative thought patterns. Though CBT has been beneficial for me, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s always advisable to seek professional guidance when exploring CBT.

Dreaming and daydreaming can be both physically and mentally therapeutic. However, nightmares, often depicted inaccurately in horror franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street, can escalate anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression.

The onset of autumn signifies summer’s end – no more sweltering heat, no more days at the beach or the community pool. As daylight dwindles and nights lengthen, we’re reminded of Brian Hyland’s song “Sealed With a Kiss,” where he sings, “Tho we gotta say goodbye for the summer… I’ll send you all my dreams every day in a letter.” This sentiment encapsulates the enduring nature of dreams beyond the fleeting summer days.

Leaves are falling from the trees and soon they will be bare.
There is always someone who will care.
There will be many colours they produce.
Definitely not orange juice!
Shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown
They line the streets all around the town.
Yes, I know I am a poet, too.
Hopefully, this season will be good for me and for you.

Memories often serve as our bridge to the past. They come in many forms, like videos from camcorders, VCR tapes, or projector films played repeatedly. Personal memoirs or autobiographies offer firsthand accounts of autumn or any season, while poetry and songwriting immortalise these memories, encapsulating the essence of each season.

The song “Try to Remember” from the longest-running off-broadway musical comedy, “The Fantasticks,” beautifully reflects on the end of summer. Initially sung in 1960 by the late, great Jerry Orbach, this song, along with the 1973 dramatic selection “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand, invites a stroll down memory lane.

Our quest for knowledge is unending and vital for our physical and mental health. Dreams provide a respite for our minds, a chance to recharge. Reflecting on Sir Francis Bacon’s words from 1597, “Knowledge is power,” and Lord Acton’s assertion that “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” we find food for thought and perhaps, a prompt for dreaming or simply pondering.

Remember, gratitude for the present is key, as we cannot alter the future. Staying positive, despite life’s challenges, is crucial. Most times, focusing on the present and what can be done is empowering. As the saying goes, “Let your future be your present because you cannot modify any of your past.” Here’s to a reflective and dream-filled autumn.

Howard Diamond is a New York State-certified peer specialist from Long Island.


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