This summer keep the temper down

Keep your body and mind cool this summer with some tried and tested methods

Rising temperature has a say on your mental temperament too. Psychology has found that summer heat can work on emotions, at times bringing out the worst in you. With studies specifying that the most comfortable temperature, for most people, is around 22 degrees, it makes the summer days all the more difficult for people in this part of the world, where temperatures hover in the 40s all through the season.

Studies have found that not only do people take longer to complete tasks, they are also less willing and less able to make complex decisions in warmer temperatures. According to another study, ‘As the temperature keeps rising, your memory for new information suffers.’ Some research also points to violent or aggressive behavior that is linked to higher temperatures. Psychologists believe that the longer you spend time outside on a summer day, the more your mood suffers. Even everyday problems can seem aggravated, leading to angry retorts and overreaction to events. Understandably, it is best to postpone important decisions until you have cooled yourself appropriately.

Some of the research findings suggest that:

  • Heat waves are related to more violent behavior and aggression
  • Heat waves may be associated with substance abuse
  • High levels of humidity can lower concentration, increase sleeplessness and also sap energy and vigour.
  • Depression and lowered mood tends to increase with a rise in temperatures
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Summer depression

Summer depression is a reality that does affect people from all walks of life. Although SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder affects people in the cold months, it can even be triggered by the onset of summer too. Summer SAD is more common among people who live in countries near the equator. Symptoms often include loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, weight loss, and anxiety.

Often, such depression might not be clinically checked and hidden under the workload and the general lament of heat and humidity. Financial issues could also add to the woes, as summer holidays can be a big burden on your saving. Besides, body image concerns might also crop up with summer parties that require you to bring out clothes that show off the hidden fat in your body.

If you feel you are a candidate for summer depression, structure your day with a reliable routine; it might be one of the ways to keep the symptoms at bay. But if the signs are heightened and they are affecting your everyday routine, it is best to get help. Visit your family doctor or a psychiatrist and find ways to overcome depression. Do not, at any cost, take your symptoms lightly, even if they fade away with the onset of the pleasant winter season.

Remember the importance of sleep as, sometimes even lack of sleep could be a trigger for the depression. Do not stop your exercise regimen because it is too hot and do not get into any strict diet programmes at this time. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can help you stay upbeat.

Whether you have any signs of depression or not, if summer heat does get your goat, check out some simple ways to keep your cool over the summer.

Temper down...

  • Avoid exposing yourself directly to the sun during peak hot times of the day and go out in clothes that are right for the season
  • Rising temperature might make outdoors unpalatable, but you need to breathe in air that is not conditioned to churn out cool air. Find an ideal time during the early morning hours or late evening to step out and reconnect with nature.
  • Star gazing is also effective to keep your mind sharp and active. Use weekends to spend time at the beach, enjoying the starry night sky.
  • Make time for yourself; time to laze and do nothing. Go on, indulge yourself.
  • While a cool bath can provide instant relief, it might not do much if the water gushing from your tap is hot from the outside temperature. Simply soak your foot in a bucket of cool water and feel its energising effects.
  • Stick around people who have a positive temperament. Argumentative people can only further anger you.
  • When your mood is negative, do not sit down in front of television to watch programmes that are violent and aggressive in their content.
  • Eat foods and drinks that are suitable to temper down the effects of the summer heat. Avoid spicy and salty foods as they can increase heat in the body.
  • If you have the time and the inclination, make a summer bucket list with things to do and pick the ones that you can follow through – may be learn a new language…
  • Reading books can be therapeutic, especially when heat makes outdoors very undesirable.

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