Summer is here so I should be happy, right?
British summer seems very at home in London right now; it’s humid, the sun is out, at least in patches and the rain has disappeared from the landscape to a large degree. So, that means you should be happy, right?
Of course the brighter, longer days and greater heat may make your mood better, or rather you may find the mood which seems to encapsulate a lot of others. But what if you don’t? There is a chance that walking home from work and seeing pubs overflowing with people seemingly having a good time with their friends, may actually heighten a sense of loneliness. That’s irrespective of the amount of assumptions we make, but in summer, other people are more open about being, and plotting a course through life without being confronted by others being with others, can be more difficult.
Also, the “better” weather isn’t necessarily better for everybody. Hotter days, and more humid ones, bring on sweating and can make ourselves feel uncomfortable literally within our own skin. Trying to stay cool can become a fixation, and alterations to routines can become a necessity in order to see a rise in physical comfort, but that can bring an instability and a strangeness to life as well. Sleep can be affected, for any number of reasons related to the cause of simply being too hot.
Finally, I wonder if happiness is actually the goal of life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but I really don’t think we’re designed to be happy all the time. Logic, and part of me despises myself for writing about logic, dictates that happiness, and knowing what feelings and emotions you assign to happiness, requires knowledge and experience of other feelings and emotions, probably things you’d ascribe to sadness.
The change in weather can make us feel happier. It can also make us feel sadder, scared or angry or anything else that’s a normal part of being in the world. Existential therapy gives a very tailored space to explore what it’s like being you in the world and give you an understanding of whether things need to change, and if so, how.
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About Ben Scanlan
Ben is an existential psychotherapist and counsellor, as well as being a coach. He has experience as a project manager and rugby coach and has special interests in working with clients who have suicidal thoughts, struggle with gender expectations and those who find their place in the world to be unaligned to their desires.