Reflections in space

Ever get that feeling that your emotions are being reflected in the weather?

Well that might sound a little odd, even a little egotistical, 'It's all about me'. In many old mythologies, pagan or pantheonic faiths, the weather was deemed to reflect the moods of the gods. So without deeming ourselves God-like, perhaps it's more likely your mood could be reflecting the weather.

My mood shifts frequently throughout the day and there are far too many stimuli to isolate any one as the cause, but weather can be a huge influence on mood. From longer term effects such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), to the simple effects of a darkening sky bringing forth 'darker' moods. There is solid evidence linking some behaviours and physical states to the moon cycle too. I'm not talking werewolves or astrology here, but real physical symptoms, more prominent in some cases than others.

The thing to note here, is that the weather and some of the associated symptoms are out of our control. What we can do, is note those changes as they occur and reflect upon the the triggers and our responses. 

With knowledge comes power and as a cartoon once said, 'with power comes responsibility', I paraphrase, but the message is still true.

I note that my mood often does dip under darkening skies. I tend to be more agitated around a full moon. Bright sunlight can lift my mood, but usually follows with a sense of fatigue and disappointment. I have spotted these triggers and changes. With that knowledge I can act to mitigate the symptoms. 

Dark skies - turn on a light or move to a brighter space. Some way to change the perspective can reduce the symptom. With repeated targeted responses, we can change the way we react to the same stimulus. With knowledge we have the power to change.

Here's where responsibility comes in. Through observation and targeted responses, we have the power to change, but now we must observe these changes, so that we don't become cornered or dominated by them instead.

My 1st response to bright sunlight is a natural one experienced by many: the light of day is wakening, the vitamin D powers us up, helps us to use other vitamins and minerals in our bodies to grow and develop. It often helps us the recall, even if subconsciously, the happy childhood memories of playing outside in the sunshine. But my secondary response is a product of practiced targeted responses and not useful ones.

I've come to associate bright sunlight with my failure to make use of it. The initial response fills my mind with things that I could be doing. A productive choice would be to decide upon one and do that thing while still benefitting from the light, yet somewhere along the line, my depression has interceded to push a signal that tells me that I "should", be doing those things. 'Should' and 'ought' can be very powerful (de)motivators. I find them a burden to which either rebel against or feel impotent to accomplish. Telling me to do something, I desire to do something else, even when I 'know' that I'm making the wrong decision. So when the sun comes, I now recall all my poor decisions and become weighed down by them. This is a destructive response.

We'll all find that some choices go well and others, not so. Try not to dwell on those that are less productive, they can still be changed. Remember the responses that worked well for you and repeat them in future, but monitor their effects. The 'fix' from one event is likely not a 'fix' at all, but just one useful choice. Try various responses so that you do not rely on one or two. If that go to 'fix' is unavailable one day, it's always good to have a back-up. Remember that if one response did not help, that you can still try others. The result of a response may not have been helpful because of extra influences also. Sometimes an unhelpful response one day can be very helpful on another.

  • Your responses and your choices are not you. 
  • You and the weather are not one.
  • You always have choices.
  • And you can always change.
  • Reflect upon your triggers and responses, not just the weather.

Good luck out their wolf pups. Rain doesn't have to be 'bad weather'.

Published by Pete Fenner