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.
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.