Mindfulness

How to prevent the ‘ultimate icebreaker’ from ruining your day

No matter if you love it or hate it, the weather has been the ultimate icebreaker for people starting a conversation. And it is not a surprise if you think about that our rural ancestors depended on weather way more than we do in our consumption-based 21st century.  Nevertheless, weather can still have a massive impact on our mood unless we acknowledge its subconscious effects and learn to ignore it.

We are surrounded by many stressed and impatient people who seem to flood the streets when the weather is bad, especially when it rains. Let it be darkish, grey and rainy, people will just go run around in craziness. And it must be admitted that we can easily get dragged away by the negative energy around us unless we understand what happens for real.

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” — Roger Miller

PsychologyToday describes the notion of ‘priming’ as a “nonconscious form of human memory concerned with the perceptual identification of words and objects.” In everyday lingo, the building blocks in our environment — even if they are so insignificant that we consciously do not realize — will definitely affect our emotions and behavior. For example, research showed that those university students who read a text about getting older and less mobile in the framework of a reading comprehension test left the room of the exam and roamed the corridors afterward in a much slower manner as compared to peers who were given a text about being young and energetic.

For example, research showed that those university students who read a text about getting older and becoming less mobile in the framework of a reading comprehension test ended up leaving the room of the exam and roaming the corridors on campus afterward in a much slower manner as compared to peers who were given a text about being young and energetic.

And this is exactly what happens with the weather. When the weather gets rainy, grey and cold, we will immediately become frustrated, stressed, gloomy and impatient. Based on the ‘monkey see monkey do’ principle, our behavior will stick to people around us quickly, and our zombie-like mood will spread like a virus. Good news is coming: once we know about the priming effect of weather it will cease to exist. If the students in the aforementioned example had been notified about the possible effects of the texts about being old versus being young before reading them, they would have gone unaffected by them.

“Vexed sailors cursed the rain, for which poor shepherds prayed in vain.” — Edmund Waller

Therefore it all brews down to mindfulness, my friend. If we know that changing weather can affect us when we do not pay attention, we will be affected. But if we acknowledge the fact that weather — just like anything else in life — changes and instead of being annoyed by the fact that it has gotten wrong we decide to focus on the refreshing feel of a rain or the feeling of wind caressing our face, we will not go down.

Because happiness is all about how we look at life. About the fact whether we appreciate and are grateful for the things that are around us or happen to us or turn our back to them in ignorance. Just like there is no light without darkness there is no happiness without sadness. But if we learn to appreciate the changing nature of life and make the best of the dark period, we will be able to enjoy the sunny times even more.

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