How to Use the Weather to Have Better Control Over Mood Swings
Just when you thought it was safe to go outside - Bam! Emotions.
As technology-filled concrete jungles grow throughout the world it begins to feel as if we have also lost our connection with the earth. Many of us are disconnected with the cyclical currents of life and the rhythms of nature that our ancestors were all too familiar with.
Combined with this, we tend to lean towards blaming the universe for our problems and, as a result, fewer moments are dedicated to the gratitude and appreciation that is essential to our own happiness.
Our connection to the moon is all but gone; our connection with the trees and land has been overpowered by our rampant desire to accumulate as much as we can from it as possible; our connection with the universe has become so slight that we rarely look to the skies to thank them for what they provide us.
The Weather Affects Our Moods
I can testify to this as a person who has struggled with erratic mood swings throughout my life. Which I attribute to a combination of environment, experiences, my own innate characteristics, and being a moody moon in Cancer (those with an interest in astrology will relate to this).
It was only comparatively recently when I changed aspects of my lifestyle that I found myself able to better control my own volatile moods; I began to exercise regularly; I changed my diet and cut out junk, alcohol and processed foods; I engaged in frequent meditation and practiced calming my mind; and while I could not fully stabilize them, I was able to control them far better than before.
And then there was the weather.
Related Article: Junk Food & Mental Health: What’s the Link?
The SAD Seasons
This is one of those natural forces and aspects of the earth that we take for granted every day. Just some harness the moon for greater manifestation in their lives, we can use the weather to help control our moods.
First, seasons need to be taken into account. The winter months don’t just bring cold air and sleet; the lack of sun and light makes life very difficult for some people. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real and debilitating condition that many people struggle with. This was something I struggled with for years before realizing what it was; in my case, an increase in nightmares, a general lethargy and a persistent feeling of depression are all present with SAD.
Fortunately, measures can be taken in such weather to help tackle this. The use of special SAD lamps can help mimic the sunlight and trick the mind and body into thinking the sun is upon them. Diet and exercise are also crucially important, as are talking to people, whether friends or professionals. Never try to ignore SAD in the hope it will go away; the winter months are long and often harsh, so equipping ourselves with the best tools possible to combat it is vital.
Below are some other handy methods of using the weather to tackle mood swings.
How to Use the Weather to Power Our Emotions
Rain and Thunderstorms
While it is true that rain can lead to “gloomy” moods, this type of weather also provides a naturally therapeutic effect (notice how so many Youtube videos have eight hours of rain sounds? There’s a reason for that!)
Rain is a beautiful thing because you can take to it in whichever way suits you best. Need to find your calm? Use this time to meditate and wash your worries away with some rain sounds and mindfulness. Need to let loose? Take to the outdoors and dance in puddles (as long as it’s not a thunderstorm, be careful).
Basically, when you see rain and hear thunder outside and if you’re feeling particularly low or stressed, go and sit by the window so you are as close to the pitter-patter of rain as possible. Curl up with a good book; the natural therapeutic sound of rain can help soothe and calm you.
Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the release of serotonin – the happy chemical! When the sun is shining, don’t sit indoors all day. Let yourself get at least an hour of sunlight to help your mind and body feel fresh and revitalized. Use this time to stretch out your hobby muscles and try new things. Keeping busy with fun sunny activities can give purpose to your days and emotions, essentially helping with mood control.
Remember, too much sunlight, however, can have the opposite effect and lead to tiredness and depression, so monitoring the correct amount of sun is important.
Try this: A Meditation to Welcome Summer
For some, wind has a positive effect on them. Wind makes them feel stronger and more vibrant as if new things are blowing in from greener pastures. Try to embrace this change of perspective when you feel a cool breeze from the North, the wind has come a long way to bring change to you.
At the same time, wind is considered a the top weather associated stressor within environmental psychology so if you feel particularly anxious or irritable in strong winds, it’s normal. Often this is because you’re becoming more sensitive to your surroundings and you are being psychologically stimulated in a way that does not serve you.
If wind bothers you, try indoor activities that soothe your soul. Our suggestion? Movies, cooking, and rocking out to your favourite songs are a good indoor activities on during windy days.
So next time you’re out in the wind, see how it makes you feel. If it stresses you, try to avoid going out during strong winds, or wear muffs to protect your ears which are the most sensitive spot in the wind. If it soothes you, then enjoy the billows!
Snow is, of course, synonymous with cold. The cold weather can have a powerful, positive effect on you, provided you are insulated enough. The sight of snow has a naturally pleasing aesthetic effect on the senses of many people. With snow, it is important to be strategic when dealing with your mood.
Wrap up warm enough to handle the cold and take in the pleasing scenery that snow can bring. Buy outdoor gear that makes you feel happy and excited to get into the cool winter weather.
Being a winter weather, snow can also be synonymous with sadness and depression; so as with wind, it is important to recognize whether this particular weather is favorable to you or not. Be communicative with yourself and others about how you are feeling. It’s important to use snow to your advantage and find a way to positively spin it for yourself and others around you.
We suggest: skating, movie nights with hot apple cider, wintery walks with friends.
Get out and enjoy the winter wonderland.
Bring Your Umbrella
The weather has a profound effect on us, even though we may not realize it. As highlighted at the start of this article, we are creatures of this earth and it is only logical that we should connect with the earth in order to help us become healthy, whole and happy.
Recognizing the powerful effects that weather can have on us paves the way for us to lead happier, healthier lives – no matter the weather!
Related Article: A New Light: Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder