Can a dream give an insight into our feelings?

 I dreamed…

Falling, falling, falling, my body stiffens waiting for impact and certain death, but I jerk awake and relief, I’m alive.  Finding this dream hard to recover from, I’m shaken, though it’s still early, I decide to get up.

Not all of us remember our dreams and even if we do they are probably forgotten soon after we wake.  Therefore, I resolved to create a dream diary for a couple of weeks, but it has also created lots of questions.

Why do we dream?  Can meaning be placed on these dreams to understand our emotions in waking life and can we analyse them ourselves?

Why do we dream?

Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM who is a behavioural sleep medicine expert admits this is difficult to answer.  However, she does give one plausible explanation.   We dream to consolidate and analyse memories, the dreams almost serve as a ‘rehearsal’ for various situations and challenges that we face in daily life.

According to Drerup most dreaming occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which we enter periodically throughout the night.  Various studies on sleep show that our brainwaves are almost as active during REM cycles as they are when we are awake. According to experts the brainstem generates REM sleep and the forebrain generates dreams.

There is still more to learn about the psychology behind dreams, one study concluded that dreams stem from the imagination featuring memories, abstract thoughts and wishes bedded deep within the brain.  The study concludes

“Viewing dreams as a powerful form of imagination can help explain many of their unique features, such as sudden transitions, uncertainty about people and places, poor subsequent recall, disconnection from the environment, and offers testable predictions for future studies”.

Experts also know that people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are prone to nightmares because they recur around the traumatic experience.  However, more research is needed as many people without PTSD also experience such upsetting dreams we would describe as nightmares. Nevertheless, very often frightening dreams such as being chased or other scary situations are common when we are experiencing a period of stress or anxiety.

My strange Dream

Myself and other women whom I don’t know, are taking part in a game, maybe a game show.  We had to enter a wardrobe, densely packed with thick coats and the winner is the first one to find their way out.  There is added pressure as someone else will enter after a period of time to chase us down and if they find us, our game is over.  I keep parting the coats stepping through only to find more densely packed coats.   I force them apart and step between them, but still more densely packed coats.  The atmosphere is warm and stuffy and I am beginning to panic.  As the feeling begins to well inside me – I wake up.

Why are dreams so strange?

Drerup writes for the Cleveland Clinic “This may be to do with neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals.  During REM sleep, some are more pronounced while others are suppressed.

Acetylcholine (which maintains brain activation) is more prominent, as is dopamine (which some researchers link to hallucinations).”  The dopamine may be the reason why dreams are often surreal.

What do dreams mean?

This, according to Drerup, is yet another mystery, particularly as we can’t remember our dreams or can’t remember them accurately.  There have been psychologists who have placed weight on the meaning of dreams, most notably Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.  “Freud thought dreams are repressed content, ideas or themes.  Jung developed this theory calling it a ‘collective unconscious’. It’s something that you’re carrying from your ancestors.”

If you google dream interpretation on the internet there is a plethora of interpretations about what your dream may mean.


I dreamed of fire. I am back at school and a fire has broken out.   We have been taught the procedure and where to go to safety, but I can’t remember it and I am alone.  Some parts of the school I recognise but mostly this constructed school in my dream is unrecognisable.   I have made a mistake and heading towards the flames.  I have to turn back but the flames are close.  This time I have made the right decision and find the school marshals directing students away from the blaze.  Relief floods over me and a friend helps as I’m breathless, from the shock, relief and anxiety.

It seems to depend upon the context, what happens and has various interpretations, some of them conflicting. For example, according to one source, dreaming of fire can mean destruction or re-birth, it could be anger or passion.

Dreams about falling

I started with a dream about falling.  However, if you experience this, according to Healthline, it may have little to do with your mind trying to interpret something and more to do with a hypnic jerk.  This is something that affects 60 – 70 percent of people according to the article and certainly one I experience.  Hypnic jerk is a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction which usually occurs as you fall asleep.

Sometimes, according to the article, there is an overlap between the hypnic jerk and the dream about falling.  However, like other nightmares or horrible dreams they could be related to stress and the tips and techniques we for good sleep hygiene, a winding down routine and not using electronic devices can help here too.    Of course we all have stressful periods and our dreams may reflect this.

Reflect on your own life

What most of the experts seem to agree on is that there isn’t a one case fits all for interpreting your dreams, we are all unique, with different personalities and life experiences and thus it is agreed that you should interpret dreams by what they mean to you.

Please remember if you are having trouble sleeping or frequent nightmares and struggling to deal with stress and anxiety, it is important to see your GP.


Why Do We Dream?


Tinnitus Week

This week is Tinnitus Week, an important week designated by Tinnitus UK.

The week was originally called Tinnitus Awareness Week but this was changed to ‘Tinnitus Week‘ presumably because the week encompasses much more than awareness.   It highlights the help and support available as well as prevention measures.

The onset of Tinnitus

The onset of tinnitus can be isolating, it is a hidden condition, no one can hear what you are experiencing but there is help and support available.

The importance of Support Groups is to give Hope.  We can help you understand your condition and why you have an emotional reaction to tinnitus.  Feeling anxious about the condition is normal.


Our founder member, Audrey, tells the story about when she became aware of her tinnitus back in 1984.  At that time there was little information available. She visited her GP who said he knew little about tinnitus but he knew about the brain which he said would learn to habituate to the sound.  In other words, the brain learns to ignore the noise and accept it as another bodily function.   Evidence shows that most people do ‘habituate’ to tinnitus.

Support Available

The process of habituation takes time and the sooner you get support the better.  It is important to understand tinnitus, your emotional reaction to it as well as being aware of stress triggers which exacerbate it.  We can help you find ways to re-focus your attention away from tinnitus and learn to relax.

If you remember the BT adverts in the 1990s with Bob Hoskins, he said “It’s good to talk”.  That is why the self-help community is so important.  At one of our meetings a new lady was in tears, we helped and supported her.  Some time later another new member joined and was also tearful.  The first lady said to her “I was like you when I came along to the group” now she is ‘living well with tinnitus’, which was reassuring to the new member.

For more information and support available from our local support group, please contact us. “It’s Good to Talk”.



The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Food for thought

“How well do you know the people who live near you?  How well do they know you? Do you even know the names of your neighbours? Would you realise if they were in trouble, or hadn’t left the house for days?  Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?

About the book

These questions are the basis of a beautiful uplifting debut fiction novel by Clare Pooley called the Authenticity Project.   Julian Jessop is tired and deeply lonely.  He begins the Authenticity Project writing his truth in a small green notebook. He then leaves it in a café, promoting anyone who finds it to write their truths, whatever the consequences.  What ensues is magical, bringing the lives of six main characters together. Each character has their own foibles and demons.  The project brings them together for friendship and support.

Why I liked it

The premise on which the book is written is an intriguing idea.  How much do we really know about our neighbours?  A little more since lockdown perhaps? However, social media has enabled us to construct our lives. We can play out a new reality, on Facebook or Instagram but is it the truth?  Or just what we want the truth to look like?  What would happen if we told the truth about our struggles?

The Characters

The flawed characters make them believable and you really care about them and what happens next. Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the characters, building the intrigue.   The whole idea of community and friendship centred around a café owned by Monica is truly heart-warming.  It also makes you think and sets many questions in motion about secrets and lies.

The Author

Clare Pooley was inspired to write the novel following positive feedback after she wrote her memoir “The Sober Diaries”. She documented her own truth about battles with drink.  “My addiction was high priced, good quality wine (because if the bottle costs enough, you’re a connoisseur, not a lush, right?)”

One final question: is everything in the Authenticity Project truly authentic?

Well worth reading to find out. Then pass it on.

A Metaphor for Tinnitus

Something a little bit different for today’s blog.  A work of fiction, a metaphor for how living with Tinnitus and mental health may feel.  I hope it makes sense and resonates with you.


I stare out through the raindrop-stained windowpane into the darkness beyond. It’s been raining now for, I cannot remember, but a very long time.  There seems no sign of it stopping.

Other people seem to be going about their business as normal as their faces hidden underneath brightly coloured umbrellas and I’m sure I can make out the tinkle of laughter.   I’m trapped in this small room.  I’m not a prisoner but I can’t seem to remember which key unlocks the heavy wooden door.  There is also an unpleasant noise, which makes it hard to sleep and concentrate on my escape.  Memories of happier times play on loop inside my mind.


I notice a figure dressed in grey clothing, slightly hunched moving slowly under a grey umbrella, momentarily our eyes lock, I’m not alone.

Finally, there seems a break in the clouds and the wooden door now appears slightly ajar.  With effort I squeeze through and step outside. I feel like a new born calf, testing out its legs for the first time.  I teeter and feel slightly giddy. The freshness of the air after the rain hits my nostrils and I breathe deep greedily.

The sun appears almost blinding in contrast to the dark room in which I have been living. Finally focused, I notice how vivid it makes the colours.  The green leaves of the surrounding trees appear different shades from dark green to fluorescent lime. I hear the whistle and trill of a blackbird on a roof above and then I spot it, bright yellow beak set against jet-black feathers as it flies into the hedgerow.

Finding my legs, I begin to walk, brushing my face past a water-laden branch, which drips onto my bare skin, it isn’t unpleasant, cooling against the heat of my face.

I find I can walk now and with each step I feel lighter.  I look around taking in the wonder of the world around me, helping to heal the memory of my captivity.

Book Review – The Comfort Book by Matt Haig


Matt Haig is the number one best seller and has written many books including ‘The Midnight Library’, ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ and ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’.  In his early twenties Matt suffered a nervous breakdown.  This book includes some of his reflections, messages of hope and wisdom he learnt in his darkest moments.

Purple pages

The front cover for me is a joy, I loved picking up a brightly coloured book which reminds me of ‘blue and green spaces’ and the sky at night. In essence the beauty of nature.  Even the pages have a purple edging.

An understanding Friend

I did find parts of the book a bit repetitive in the key messages.  However, that could have been divisive, when we are most in need of comfort, we need constant reminding that there is hope and we don’t have to strive to be the best.  We are enough as we are.  Furthermore, as Matt says in his introduction, the book doesn’t need to be read linear or as a continual read, it can be picked up anytime you need ‘comfort’.  It certainly hits that brief, you do feel that Matt Haig is an understanding friend. It is clear that Matt’s own experience has influenced his writing.


The book is packed with hope, affirmations, philosophical wisdom, a poem and human interest.  For me Matt Haig’s memories and the other inspirational stories makes the book well worth reading.  It also makes you smile as well as wanting to compile your own playlist and feel-good movies.

The recipe for peanut butter reminds me of the recipe for ice-cream, included in a collection of hand written recipes by friends given to me as a wedding present, yet more evidence of why books and this one in particular feels like talking to a friend.





Mindfulness Tips for Winter

Ideas to get you through the Winter Months 

Although the hours of daylight increase daily.  (According to Google “this gain will be minuscule at first, just a matter of seconds a day.  But will steadily grow until daily daylight expands by three daily minutes per day in March.  The exact amount of brightness-gain depends on your location.”)

However, mornings can feel grey and dismal, the days could be cold with wind and rain which add to the gloominess and at times it could be treacherous if it’s been freezing or snowing during the night.  Therefore, it is important that we take up indoor activities which lighten our mood and help us to be mindful and focused.

Here are 5 ideas for you

Jigsaw Puzzles

My husband loves jigsaw puzzles. He increases the challenge by only looking at the picture once and then putting it away and not referring to it again as he completes the puzzle.  Of course, this is not a pre-requisite and there are lots of choices of puzzles with varying numbers of pieces and complexity.

The important thing is that completing jigsaw puzzles increases the brain production of dopamine.  Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that boosts mood and optimism.  Every time you successfully put a piece into the jigsaw, you are encouraged by the sense of achievement to continue.

Doing jigsaws involves concentration, helps reduce stress and is said to be very good for the brain as we age.  My husband certainly becomes engrossed in the process, being in the moment and not thinking about other worries and stresses.

Tending to plants

If you are missing gardening as I am, there is an indoor solution tending to house plants.  The benefits of nature have been shown to be positive even by looking at or tending to indoor plants.  There are also a number of gardening tasks to undertake with indoor plants including watering or spraying and dead-heading leaves or flowers. (It is, of course, important to check the label on how to care for your indoor garden).

As well as improving the quality of air in the home, plants are a source of pleasure and can help to reduce stress and anxiety.  There are plenty to choose from.

Plant Suggestions

  • Poinsettia – It is such a lovely happy plant in the winter months. This year I was so pleased to find one with pink leaves.
  • Hyacinths – I’ve grown mine from bulbs.   I’m watching them carefully but they are available to buy and have an absolutely beautiful scent. Available in a range of colours.
  • Aeonium – or Tree Houseleek.   These need to be in a bright spot indoors and don’t take a lot of watering as their leaves hold the water but they are an interesting shape. As the common name suggests the plant has a trunk, which can bend, if not careful, with the weight of the thick green leaves, some having a reddish tint.  They do need periodic dead leaves removing.
  • Bonsai – if you fancy something which needs a bit more care, why not try a Bonsai, though they can be quite expensive. The tree will come with care instructions.
  • Orchid – also requires some attention and care.  A beautiful exotic plant which reaches up with delicate colourful flowers, often with tendrils of the root showing above plant pots to add to its intrigue.
  • Amaryllis – This bulb is easy to care for and has a big exuberant bloom to cheer up your winter months.


You can view an earlier blog post for the benefits of reading literature but there is nothing more comforting than curling up with a good book and a mug of tea.   You may even decide to try a different genre this year, for example, Who-dunnits, Sci-fi or adult fantasy fiction.

Why reading is good for you?

Card Games

I’ve included card games on the list, which may remind you of playing games as a child. I certainly learnt to play card games from my Nan and have very fond memories of this.  Playing such games can keep your mind active, reduce stress and help improve memory. I know there are games such a Solitaire but generally card games are social activities which can be a lot of fun.


It is well documented that puzzles are mindful activities which have many health benefits including relieving stress and boosting mood as well as keeping our minds active.  There are a range of activities to choose from whether you like words, numbers or logic games.  Magazines and newspapers often include a puzzle or crossword or you can buy books full of puzzles.  For those who like to use their phone or tablet there are lots of Apps to choose from.  I have a Sudoku App on my phone with a choice of levels of puzzles.

It is important that we undertake indoor activities which are beneficial to our mental health through the winter months.  I also look forward to some bright, crisp mornings where we can also step outside and enjoy the outdoors as we wait for the changing seasons and new life in Spring.

Book Review – to help with anxiety

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Book of Regrets

We all have regrets in life, some of the regrets are small, some feel much bigger.   Choices we could have made and didn’t.  Would our life have been so much happier/more fulfilled if we had followed certain opportunities? Some of these regrets weigh heavily on our mind because we feel our choices have let friends or family down.

The Plot

Nora Seed gets to try out these different ‘lives’ in a beautifully crafted book by Matt Haig called “The Midnight Library”.  As Nora hovers between life and death she gets to visit the “Midnight Library” and reads her “Book of Regrets.”  With each regret, Nora tries out a life following up on opportunity missed or changing a decision which impacted on her family and friends.  Could these new lives right the wrongs she believed she made in her current existence and thus make her happier?

A Fable for Modern Times

I was fascinated by this book, in fact the whole premise that a different decision or following up on an opportunity may have set our lives on a completely different course.   Author Jodi Picoult called the book “A beautiful fable, an It’s a Wonderful Life for the modern age – impossibly timely.” I completely agree.

I don’t want to give any of the storyline away, but there are certainly some thought provoking ideas.  In Nora’s own words “I mean, it would have made things a lot easier if we understood there was no way of living that can immunise you against sadness.  And that sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness.  You can’t have one without the other.  Of course, they come in different degrees and quantities”.

Despite the start of the novel, that brings Nora to the ‘Midnight Library’ the story is not depressing, far from it, it is insightful and uplifting.  Nora learns some valuable lessons about herself, her family and how simple acts of kindness can have a huge impact on the lives of others.

I think we may have all had opportunities missed but by taking those alternative paths we may have also missed the good things in our lives right now.  The book is an advocate for living in the “Now”.

When you realise nothing is lacking the whole world belongs to you.

Lao Tzu (c694 – c532 BCE)

About the Author. Matt can speak with authenticity because he suffered a mental breakdown at the age of 24 and still suffers from anxiety from time to time.


Why reading is good for you?

Why do we love to read fiction?

I hope you have books on your Christmas list this year or receive a books from family and friends.  Not only do we love reading especially fiction, it can be good for you.

According to you YouGov survey, nearly half the population (43%) stated they read once a week for pleasure.

According to Bea Carvalho, head of fiction at Waterstones speaking to Good Housekeeping “Storytelling is always going to be a fundamental part of our culture”. 

The Origins of Storytelling

Throughout history storytelling has played an important role.  Whether the stories are oral or written, fact or fiction storytelling has played a vital role in informing others of life events and helping explain the world around us and this is still true today.  We all like a bit of gossip, which is just another form of storytelling. Storytelling has also been a way of communicating a message, many Fairy stories written for children were designed as moral lessons to prevent children wandering off, talking to strangers or misbehaving!.

To understand and heal

Whatever your situation and if you are struggling with making sense of it, you may find a book that helps you to process and consolidate your own feelings.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fieldingabout a thirtysomething quirky singleton looking for love was hugely popular because it resonated with so many young thirty-something women on a quest to find ‘the one’, yet at the same time wanting to be seen as Independent. Books that resonate with us also give hope or redemption.

Books for difficult times

It is true that, in difficult times, we may turn to reading.  One lady told me that before Covid she never read but during the pandemic in 2020 she read 50 books.  Books to get us through difficult times is not new.

Germaine Leece in 2017 wrote ‘the understanding that literature can comfort, console and heal has been around since the second millennium BC’.  Helen Mary Gaskell during the First World War wanted to ensure that wounded soldiers had access to books they loved.  Her war library was fully operational by the end of 1914.  For a wonderful story on this very topic, highlighting the power of books read The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. Set partly in the American Library in Paris just before the war breaks out and Montana in 1983, the story is about love, friendship, bravery and the choices we make when faced with adversity as well as the power of books.

To understand people or places we have never met?

Other perspectives

According to blog writer Monica M Clark this is a crucial role of fiction.

“Fiction readers not only experience the protagonist’s point of view, but his/her innermost thoughts. They spend hours with his perspective and learning about his background. They think and care about someone very different from themselves”.

In 2019 Bernadine Evaristo won the Booker Prize for fiction with Girl, Woman, Other which follows the lives, of loosely connecting characters who are mostly women, black and British and through the novel we can experience their lives probably very different from our own.  It is also interesting to read from a literary point of view, it is written as almost conscious thoughts of the characters without any full stops.

Time Travel

Fiction also allows us, the readers, to experience new settings and places as well as time travel through history, not only for sights and sounds but smells, tastes and touches. In Victoria Hislop’s The Island, we are transported to the Island of Spinalonga off the coast of Crete, the Island is also Greece’s leprosy colony.  It is a beautiful story about love, passion, tragedy and loss and understanding of a disease which tore families apart, and fortunately, rare and treatable today.

As well as time travelling backwards, novels can time travel us forward in time, to a future which is usually dystopian. If you fancy such novels try The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood or ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Very interesting perspectives on what a futuristic world may look like and certainly makes you think about what changes may be necessary to save our planet.

Entertainment and to relieve stress?

We of course read because it helps us to relax and it is an enjoyable experience.  We become transported into the story, engrossed that we don’t think about our worries or even notice what is happening in our immediate environment.

American journalist Tony Schwartz states that reading allows us a ‘pit stop’ in our lives. Furthermore, research from the University of Sussex has shown that reading is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress.  According to the research, within just 6 minutes of silent reading, the heart rate of participants slowed and tension in their muscles eased up to 68%.  Psychologists believe the effectiveness is because reading creates a distraction for the mind which eases the body’s stress, reinforcing the link between mind and body.

In the New Year, I will share some book reviews, fiction and non-fiction to help relieve stress, heart-warming stories and books to help improve mental wellbeing.  Why not have a think about your favourite books.  Why are they your favourite? Could you identify with the main protagonist?  Did a book help you through a difficult time like the pandemic?

The end….

Whatever you choose to read, it has important benefits not only for our own mental health but also for society in empathising and understanding cultures and experiences very different from our own.  In an article for Good Housekeeping, comedian Susan Calman stated how much she loved friend’s recommendations. Me too – you not only get some great books to add to your book Wish List, but also it gives you something to discuss once you have read it, next time you see your friend; like your own exclusive book club.





What Colour do you feel?

Colour and how it can make you feel

Colour has often been associated with emotions.   We may say we saw red (anger), feel blue (sad) or green with envy.  Therefore, it is not hard to see that colour can affect our emotions or that it can be used to help improve our mental health.

Warm and Cool colours

Colours can be categorised as warm or cool colours.  Warm colours are those based on red, orange and yellow.   Cool colours are those in the family of green, blue or purple.  Our feelings about colour can depend upon our experiences and associations which may include thinking of colourful flowers in the garden which fill us with joy or perhaps disgust of a colour associated with your school uniform.

The Context

It is also important to recognise that colours can be associated with positive or negative emotions which may be determined by the context.  Take the examples above, the colour red, in one context may make you feel anger in another love.  Similarly, with blue, it could make you feel sad or fill you with joy, as you associate the colour with gliding through an outdoor pool or a beautiful blue sky.

Psychologists have studied colour and emotions.  In one study by Jonauskaite et al, (2020), over 4500 participants from 30 different countries took part in a colour psychology test, leading to the researchers drawing a number of conclusions.

  1. An association was easiest with some colours – like red, black, yellow. Others such as brown were less easy to assign an emotion to.
  2. One colour was often associated with several emotions. Similarly, the same emotion was linked to several colours.

My Study

I decided to replicate the study with my parents and myself, finding very similar results.  The colour red was controversial, according to the study results being associated with love and anger, which Mum and I stated but also hate ( which Dad said ).  Similar to the participants in the study we attached negative emotions to brown, black and grey such as fear, sadness, disgust and disappointment.  Both Mum and Dad struggled to place an emotion on orange, eventually going for joy/pleasure and relief.  For me, I stated interest, it’s a warm colour that piques my curiosity.  Mum associated colours with flowers in her garden, thus repeatedly felt joy.

Why is it important to think about how Colour makes you feel?

It is important to think about how colour makes you feel as it helps you to choose clothing and décor which will improve your mood and mental health.  For example, if you are wanting a room to be relaxing you may choose colours which are associated with contentment. In the study these colours were blue, green, turquoise and white.  (Colours which I associated with contentment.  Mum chose similar colours, adding that when she was younger, she would have chosen purple).

Adding Colour to your home

If you are working from home and want to keep yourself motivated and have creative ideas, you may wear or have décor in a colour which you associate with interest.  According to the study you would use green, blue, purple but for me it would be orange and Dad turquoise.  Adding house plants with green foliage or colourful flowers could have multiple benefits for your mental health.  Orchids for example have a variety of coloured flowers. Others you may choose include white Poinsettia, African Violets, Kalanchoe or purple or white Cyclamen.

You may of course also want to have pops of joy throughout your house. For me that is the colour yellow and I certainly have shades of yellow, mainly mustard, in my living room, hallway (lemon), kitchen and bedroom.

I am fascinated by colour. Love colour and how it makes you feel.  For me it is thinking about how colours complement or contrast, making one colour shine against another.  It really is worth thinking about what colours make you feel joy, contentment, interest or relaxed and include those colours in your surroundings.

Are you feeling sunny today?

Internal Weather Forecast

How are you feeling?  How are you really feeling? it’s often hard to describe our feelings and emotions.

Ruby Wax, American-British actress, comedian and mental health campaigner, established ‘Frazzled Café’s’ in 2017.  At these meetings, people check-in with their feelings in terms of describing them like a weather forecast.  This should be easier, we are often pre-occupied with the weather.  Especially if we are going to be outside during the day or evening.

I certainly think of anxiety in terms of a weather forecast.  It feels like a really blustery day, experienced in the pit of my stomach.  Anxiety may be felt in other parts of the body.  For me I feel anxiety in the stomach. The wind whips and twirls around debris (my thoughts and feelings) until I feel nauseous.  The wind may be accompanied by rain.  Just as the rain is good for our gardens, so too is crying, according to Harvard Health.

It’s raining

Medical benefits of crying have been known as far back as the Classical era. Thinkers and physicians of ancient Greece and Rome posited that tears work like a purgative, draining off and purifying us. Today’s psychological thought largely concurs, emphasising the role of crying as a mechanism that allows us to release stress and emotional pain.

Crying is an important safety valve, largely because keeping difficult feelings inside — what psychologists call repressive coping — can be bad for our health. Studies have linked repressive coping with a less resilient immune system, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, as well as with mental health conditions including stress, anxiety and depression.

Similar to the weather, my rain forecast may be different, thundery (anger), light silent rain (sadness) or torrential (feelings of helplessness or despair).  The rain does pass.  The skies may remain grey, or white fluffy clouds may appear with blue skies and intermittent sunshine.  Seeing family, friends or stroking my cat may bring a smile to my face, thus bringing out the sunshine.

We can’t control the weather and to a large extent our emotions, but unlike the weather we can take time for ourselves and do more of the things that help the sun stay out for longer.

Here are a few ideas.