How does the weather affect our mood?

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The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.

Lodged by Robert Frost

For some of us, our mood seems inextricably linked to the weather. If you live in certain parts of the world, the weather can be relied upon, but in Britain even summer can be cold and wet, or one day hot and dry and the next cold and gloomy. As autumn takes hold the rain is falling, taking beautiful, bronzed leaves from the trees , making pavements slippery and sneaking under our brollies as a chilly wind blows huge grey clouds quickly across the sky.

Research suggests that the effect the weather – sun or rain – has on us is a very individual experience. For some, the heat of summer is unbearable. For others, like Robert Frost in the poem quoted above, a rainy, miserable day affects his human nature in the same way as it impacts upon the nature he sees around him. For many, winter becomes a time of unbearable sadness, literally, as ‘seasonal affective disorder’ (SAD) comes on as the amount of light fades and the days become shorter.

Edward Thomas, another poet of the early twentieth century, uses the image of rain in a quite different way. It is suggestive of solitude and loneliness, but it also has the ability to cleanse and to offer a new start….

From Rain

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude…

Edward Thomas

Perhaps it is how we look out upon the weather that is important. It isn’t simply the elements that cause our mood, it is part of a whole bundle of feelings and emotions. If we did not have clouds, we would not feel heartened as the sun breaks through them. If we did not have days of warm sunshine, the rain, when it does fall, would not seem so refreshing.

How do you feel about the weather? Does it directly affect your mood or simply heighten a feeling that is already part of your life? Do you have any coping mechanisms for days of weather that you find difficult to deal with?

We would love to hear your thoughts….

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What inspires you? The joy, or otherwise, of inspirational quotes…

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we get more involved with social media here at The Terrace it has struck us that many people find posting inspirational quotes a good way to interact with followers and friends. Many seem to do little else other than post such quotes. This is fine, and many people can benefit from having a sentence that they can recall when times are tough and which offers them strength and hope. However, if you are faced with hundreds in your timeline, or some that are either misquoted or not attributed to the person who first said them, do you become numbed to their power to affirm, or find yourself flicking past them – irritated as they fail to inspire?

I am struck most strongly by a quote that has stayed with me and become a favourite. To me it is as relevant today as it was when it was written in the 19th century…..

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803 and became a linchpin of American 19th century thinking as his essays, poems and lectures made him one of the most important exponents of the Transcendentalism movement and a critic of great foresight. He influenced Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost; and many other great writers, whilst denying his role in their development, were undoubtedly affected by his work.

This quote is something we would offer as a mantra that perhaps we could all cling to as the world seems to demand more and more of us each passing year.

Do you have any similar favourites?