The time is now. The weather is good. Knowing the Irish weather, there’s a good chance we won’t get another chance this year, so here’s a psychologist’s recipe: drop everything and get out and enjoy the sun today.
The sun relaxes our muscles and promotes sensual pleasures. Stretching out in the sun is good for us. Forget daily mindfulness or yoga practices for now—the sun can bring us into the here and now faster than any spiritual or physical discipline.
Sun worshipers were around long before we discovered the delights of the Costa del Sol in the 1980’s.
Worship of the sun dates back to the 14th century BC. when the Atenists in Egypt worshiped the god Aten, who was represented as a sun disk.
The sun is life-giving and we wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for it. So perhaps, just as our ancestors probably did thousands of years ago, in compensation for the long winter that lies ahead, we should now bow to the sun and appreciate its majesty and power as others do to other gods would bow and give thanks for the day.
In many ways we need this solar bench for our well-being. One of the best things you can do today for your emotional well-being is to expose yourself to sunlight, even if it’s only through a window, but preferably by walking outside or hanging out with friends.
When our skin absorbs sunlight, we produce vitamin D and this triggers the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that elevates our mood. Fortunately, getting a sunburn or tan from the sun isn’t necessary—even 20 minutes of sun exposure is enough to produce vitamin D.
During this time of climate crisis, we have been taught to look at the sun with fear and even a sense of panic. But if we close our eyes and feel the sun on our skin, we might be able to imagine a star 150 million kilometers above us. It is one star among hundreds of billions of stars. It burns at 15 million degrees Celsius, giving us life, albeit unintentionally. This star also gives us hope, nourishment, warmth and many other joys.
Soon the sun will hide behind the clouds again. The weather will change and summer will give way to autumn. To really enjoy cozy nights in front of the fireplace, we need to feel like we’ve fully enjoyed the joys of summer. It is often said that those who have never found the time to live the life they wanted are the most afraid of dying. Likewise, people who fear winter may not be enjoying their summer properly.
If this resonates with you, then for your own sake please make an effort to enjoy the remaining time we have this summer.
It doesn’t matter what’s going on in our lives; Most of us can, if we wish, pull a chair out into the backyard and enjoy the sun. Most of us can kick off our shoes and socks at the local park and enjoy the feel of the grass on our feet and the sun on our faces. This pleasure is available to us today.
Bronnie Ware was a hospice nurse who worked in palliative care for many years. As she cared for her patients, she noticed some common themes among those in the final weeks of their lives. A common regret she heard was “I wish I could have let myself be happier.”
Many people only realize too late that there are many moments of happiness that are available to us.
Instead, we don’t take our chances and instead get stuck in old patterns and habits that don’t necessarily contribute to our happiness.
Every year nature reminds us that everything must pass. The sun comes, then it is replaced by night. Summer comes, then it is replaced by autumn.
This gives us ample opportunity to learn how to seize the day, but so many people never learn this valuable lesson.
It’s entirely possible that we’re afraid to enjoy ourselves because we were raised to believe that we’re only worthy when we’re productive.
I remember a customer telling me that she worked so hard to create a brilliant barbecue for the whole extended family that she forgot to enjoy it. Deep within us lies a need for pleasure; We need to laugh and have fun. Without the simple pleasures, life is dull and gray. We ignore this at our own risk.
We in Ireland know only too well how the outside weather affects our inside weather. There is plenty of scientific evidence of how lack of sunlight drags our mood down. Most of us live by the pathetic fallacy we learned in English classes at school, where the weather suits our mood.
We experience the lift that the sun gives us, and then it’s up to us whether we use it or not. That’s why we Irish should be given a free pass to kick back and make the most of sunny days.
We can always get back to work when the sun leaves us behind, which it inevitably will. All we have left are clouds
Drizzle, a sharp breeze and hopefully some warm memories.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/log-off-sit-out-the-back-and-feel-your-mood-lift-as-you-bask-in-the-warm-rays-of-the-sun-41898554.html Sign out, sit in the back and feel your spirits rise as you bask in the warm rays of the sun