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The other day I hit a wall. Not literally, I mean emotionally, psychologically and yeah in a way physically. Let me explain…

It’s winter down here where I am and although it’s pretty beautiful weather most days ( no snow, relatively mild temperatures), it’s… well, definitely winter. The nights and mornings are cold. It’s dark when I get up around 5:30am, and not long after the kids get home from school (around 5:30pm). And for the last few weeks I’ve been feeling pretty heavy.

I recently moved to Australia from Cincinnati, Ohio, a place where winter is most definitely winter, complete with snow, freezing snow, and wet snow. Winter temperatures during the day where I am now don’t tend to drop much below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (around 15 degrees Celsius), so I was pretty sure that the long cold, depressing days of winter were long over… but it turns out it’s it’s not quite that simple… And what I’ve realized this winter is something pretty profound if not ridiculously obvious…

No matter where you live, no matter where you come from or move to or visit, your body-mind reacts to and synchronizes with your environment.

And in fact your weather plays a HUGE part in how you feel day to day, probably bigger part than you realize.

A look at the weather inside…

According to Ayurveda everything that goes on outside of us goes on inside of us as well. Our bodies and minds change right along with the weather and when we don’t really pay attention to exactly HOW we change along with the weather, it can be the source of infinite frustration, especially on the days when you feel like crap and don’t have any idea why or how to fix it. This, in turn can lead to even more issues, challenges, and… crappy days.

One of the keys to feeling awesome from day to day and throughout the year is to get familiar with HOW your body changes and reacts to the environment you’re in, particularly the temperature and humidity levels outside and inside. I realize I’m getting a little scientific on you, but bear with me…

The heavy and light of happiness and health…

We human beings are extremely sensitive to our environments, in particular to temperature and humidity. It’s probably something that you rarely think about… unless you feel it.

The humidity and temperature levels in our environment (both inside and outside) impact our ability to regulate our body temperature. And body temperature is one of the keys to maintaining balance. Think about it… how do you feel when you’re extremely hot or cold? Does the temperature in your room, home or city impact the way you make decisions?

Apparently… it does! Studies have shown that our ability to perform tasks and make simple and complex decisions can change relative to our level of comfort in our environment. And two key factors to determining physical (and therefore mental and yes even emotional) comfort are the temperature and humidity levels where you are (ever wonder why offices, schools, casinos, and shopping malls are so perfectly temperature and humidity controlled!?). But what’s especially important to note here is that your level of comfort greatly impacts your ability to be and feel balanced and healthy.

What’s your experience of heaviness? What does it look like and feel like in your body and your mind? Okay now what about lightness?

We experience humidity along a spectrum from wet (Tropical climates) to dry (desert, or high mountain climates). But we also experience humidity as physical, mental and emotional sensations of heaviness (high humidity) and lightness (low humidity).

Ayurveda looks at everything from the point of view of how it impacts your body and your mind. And so even subtle changes in the temperature and humidity where you are (from day to day, not even just from season to season), can make a big difference to your happiness.

Your daily process for rebalancing…

So how does the weather/temperature make you feel in your mind and body? If any of this is resonating with you (even if it’s not, some folks are more sensitive to this stuff than others which means that the impacts might be lessened OR they might just show up in ways that people can’t perceive), I’ve got some simple things you can do to keep a handle on your happiness…

As always it starts with a little awareness… and a few questions…

Start by simply taking some time to notice a few things:

  1. What’s the weather like outside ? Is it wet or dry? Does it feel hot or cold or comfortable?
  2. What’s the environment like inside? – Same questions as above.
  3. How does your body feel? – Are you hot or cold anywhere? (for me it’s always the hands and feet)? Do have a sensation of heaviness or lightness anywhere in your body? What is your level of comfort in your environment? And most importantly…
  4. What, if anything can you do to create or increase your level of comfort in your environment? (change your clothes, your food, the temperature or humidity levels indoors?)

I know these seem like simple questions, but it’s amazing how little attention we pay to our environment and how our environment makes us feel! We’ve lost connection to our own comfort (I’ll sit around all day with freezing cold feet and hands), and then wonder why we feel agitated, tired, heavy or depressed. We also forget that the mind-body connection goes both ways (if your body is unhappy it will show up in the way you think and feel).

In many ways we’ve also trained ourselves to notice and react only to the extremes in our weather (the highs and lows), without giving much thought to anything in between (which is the place we actually spend most of our time!). But I’m here to tell ya that the magic begins when we pay attention to and manage our experience of our environment. Why? Because we’ll not only be more comfortable, less physically and mentally stressed, and more balanced… we’ll also be that much closer to our bliss!

And now for a little something extra…

Soooo…. What CAN you do to increase your level of comfort and harmony inside and out throughout the year? The Ayurvedic answers are pretty simple and based on a quick assessment of your internal and external environments. I’ve put together a little guide to give you some insights along with some ideas for staying balanced and happy no matter who or where you are!   You can download it here!

2 Comments

  1. Wendy on August 22, 2014 at 5:00 am

    You have no idea how apt this article and it’s insights are ,right now for me.
    No wonder “early man” worshipped the sun.
    Healing meditation is powerful and inspirational writings like this are so valuable.
    Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. Chara,
    Wendy

    • blissbody on August 22, 2014 at 10:17 am

      These insights have been life changing for me as I realize how much I am affected by not just the weather, but my level of comfort no matter where I am (inside or outside!). It’s prompted me to stay atuned to how I’m feeling at any given moment AND to make even subtle shifts to optimize my comfort (so that I can get some work… and play done!). xoC

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