Being Bruce -: Are You Hot or Cold? It's Your Choice

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are You Hot or Cold? It's Your Choice

In much of the northern hemisphere the last weeks of August bring out a fresh crop of people complaining about the heat. I humbly suggest and request that we (I do it, too) stop complaining about the weather - the act and effect of complaining trebles the unnecessarily unpleasant feeling.

The weather may be extreme, but our experience of temperature is in our mind. When we complain about temperature we:
  • pay attention to it - which worsens the experience
  • put it to words - which focuses our mind even more on discomfort
  • share it with others - worsens their day - and they may reciprocate and make yours even less pleasurable.

Now of course you need to be careful of excessive sun exposure - that can be bad for your skin. And you always should stay hydrated - at peril of your life. But there's no need to be stay miserable just because of temperature extremes if you're hydrated and protected from the sun.

If you're outside in the summer when the temperature gets higher than you like and there's no life threat, and no easy choice to get to a cooler environment outside, there's an easy, fast solution, and it's more powerful than most of us ever imagine. Just Think Cool. Use the power of your mind for your own pleasure and comfort. Skip past the weak arguments of your ever-spinning and twisting thoughts and consciously decide to experience cold.

If you picture yourself sitting on the edge of a glacier (that's the image I use), or maybe walking down a wintry, snow-covered road, or chilled in the wind on the deck of a boat, those images can work powerfully and quickly to counter the experience of excessive heat.

I've found that when someone says, "Man, isn't it hot? I hate this temperature", or something similar to call attention to the temperature AND express negativity, my retort, "I'm sitting on a glacier, slightly shivering in the cold breeze" evokes a variety of responses. They may say, "You're nuts." They may ask, "Really, is that working for you?" Or they may go on on some other topic, or just smile and move away, but the net effect is they stop complaining about the heat, at least to me. So if nothing else, THAT sure works.

Better to complain about something real, like an empty coffee cup - think I'll refill.