How is it that the sun makes us feel good?
I’m ignorant here but I’m sure there are physiological reasons; warmth, light, vitamin creation etc., but also psychological and emotional reasons.
I’ve just been looking out the window at a sun drenched plaza. People are sitting on steps, eating, drinking, standing, chatting, walking purposefully. The trees are showing their first signs of bud. The colours on the brick built cathedral stunning. The shadows evocative. The light glorious. The mood inviting.
I’m inside. I can’t feel the warmth; the sunlight isn’t landing on me directly and the sun isn’t being overly energetic with any chemical in my body… and yet just gazing at the scene makes me feel good. Bring me sunshine…
Eric and Ernie were right.
I need to shop for food today. Saturday isn’t a normal shopping day for us – too many people in the aisles. The aimless people.
Anyhow, it occurred to me, what if I could shop for emotions? What would be on my list? What do I want more of and what do I have enough of in the cupboard?
Do I want more joy? More caring? More trust? More serenity? Do I need a little more sadness? A big pot of empathy? Do I need to refill my anger? Maybe I would like to take some lonely back to the shop?
Am I baking a relationship cake and need some extra courage? Some more selfishness, a little daring, some strong, rather than medium, fun? A big box of compassion perhaps, a soupcon of adventurousness and a large tin of hurt? Plus a garnish of warmth?
Maybe I’m about to change role and I need to stock up on thrilled, thoughtful and excited, buy a refill pack of embarrassed, but also purchase some ashamed and not good enough seasoning?
Or maybe I’m being forced to change role and need some hope, a little vindictiveness and a splash of inadequate, to go with the large supply I have at home of feeling used?
What would be on your emotions shopping list?
It is world random acts of kindness day on November 13th. It seems as though we need a day for everything these days. Maybe we could try it without a special day?
There was a story the other week about two guys who spend their time topping up expired car park tickets using their own money. They spend £60 of their own money each week.
Doing something kind for someone makes you feel good.
But it seems there’s a science to it.
Scientists have long known that the hormone oxytocin plays essential physiological roles during birth and lactation with mother and baby bonding. Animal studies have shown that oxytocin can influence behavior too, prompting voles to cuddle up with their mates, for example, or to clean and comfort their pups. Now a raft of new research in humans suggests that oxytocin underlies the twin emotional pillars of civilized life, our capacity to feel empathy and trust.
I held my umbrella over someone’s head whilst the drizzle fell earlier today.
Kind, I thought.
So give it a go. Don’t wait for the official day, do something randomly kind now. Get a shot of warmth. Hormonally dose up on your oxytocin.