Our emotions can be viewed just like the British weather. They can be erratic, and unpredictable and can go from snow, and freezing weather conditions, to bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. I think it’s a good way to look at our emotions by using the weather metaphor as a simple way to help us stay in touch with how we feel. Also, for the other people around us, it can be a great way to look at how people are feeling and find the best ways to navigate the situation at hand. If we think of all the different weather conditions, we can marry those with all the different emotions we can have. Actually, you might not have thought about it in this way but we already use terms like, “something is clouding my judgement”, “the dawn of a new day”, “we feel gloomy”, “the perfect storm”, “stealing someone’s thunder”, “a windfall”, and “take a rain check” – these are just a few of the things we can say to each other from time to time.
Expressing emotions can be challenging – that’s one of the reasons that metaphors and imagery can be powerful ways to convey feelings and gain new insights into them.
Using the metaphor of weather to express emotions is one way to do this. I find this directive really helpful for a couple of reasons. Firstly is that it gives a creative way to connect and express our feelings, while it also helps to build awareness and acceptance of our and other emotional states.
Another reason that I like this specific directive for exploring emotions is that the metaphor of weather can lead to an internal discussion about how emotions do change over time. Particularly like our British weather, as we have just seen all four weather seasons in just one day! When we’re or someone else is experiencing distressing feelings, it can be super easy to feel stuck and think that these emotions will last forever. However, just like the weather is always changing, our emotions are always changing as well. We can go from being a bright clear sun in the sky, to a storming thundery day and all it can take is something happening, and our emotions can change in a split second. Sometimes it can be a helpful mindset shift for you to see yours or others’ emotions in this way, as it can help you gain a more overall perspective and a new viewpoint on those negative emotions and challenging situations. If we are being challenged by our life or the people around us, accept it will pass, (maybe not always instantly) and that time will and does help. Also, to accept that in nearly every case the emotions around the situation don’t often stay the same and will change. Seeing that the clouds will pass, the storm will blow itself out and that the sun will shine again, can give us the strength to get through those dark challenging times.
When things have badly negatively affected us or others, we may not always be able to change the emotional weather at the moment, but finding a new perspective to look at things can help you to get through it more easily and with the hope that better days are possible.
Another positive thing about looking at our emotions in this way is that we can keep in mind this metaphor to help us to focus on the idea of the acceptance of the emotions, rather than trying to change them. Just like we can’t change the weather, we can only accept the reality of it and do our best to cope with it, knowing that it will change. It’s this same approach we need for the most challenging times in our lives.
This is also a great way to explore emotions with our children and teenagers as it can open a great topic of conversation into emotions and what they are. Many children like this type of learning as you are building new knowledge on existing learned aspects, and it can allow the child to think out of the box and push the boundaries of their learning abilities. The more we understand how we and others can think and feel about things then the easier it is to accept the reality of the emotions and situations we encounter on a day-to-day basis. Then with this knowledge, it can also be easier to find a better way to navigate how you are feeling and how to move through challenging situations with other people. Take the time to look at how you can change your thoughts and actions in responding to that emotional issue, and even when you can’t change the emotion itself, you can work to change how you might move through the ever-changing weather of emotions.
I hope your day is a bright lovely summer’s day, where the sun is warm but not overpowering, the wind is gentle but just enough to keep you cool, there’s not a cloud in the sky or even on the horizon and the blue sky brings the brightness and positivity to your day. Sara x