When we've been taught to label weather as “good” or “bad” it can result in spending days and even weeks stuck inside escaping what we perceive as bad and avoiding the possibility of feeling uncomfortable. This common practice of categorizing and judging weather and allowing the conditions of each season to control our relationship with the natural world can have negative consequences. Especially when we consider the growing body of research that has advanced our understanding of how spending time in nature improves our mental health and well-being. And beyond our own benefit, research suggests that how we think about nature; our affective relationship with and the extent to which we see ourselves as part of nature, has an impact on nature’s wellbeing too.
So in this season when we experience April showers maybe you consider paying particular attention to how you currently relate to rain. Have you been taught and conditioned to believe that rain puts a damper on the day? Do you complain about it and plan ahead so you don't get caught in the rain? What do your children hear from you, what are they learning about rainy days?
The next time it rains maybe you pause to consider how rain is a necessary and precious resource. Maybe you grab a rain jacket or umbrella and head outside to reconnect to rain with presence and a sense of awe - spending a few minutes investigating the experience through your senses and with a child’s sense of wonder without the need for it to be different than what it is.
Learn more about how researchers are uncovering the benefits of experiencing awe by visiting Greater Good @ https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/awe/definition#what-is-awe
Jen Rapanos, LMSW, RCYT is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and the owner of Well-Bean, PLLC
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