by Johna Hansen, L.C.S.W.
One day this week it was warm. Another day it was warm, but windy, so it was chilly in the shade, but warm in the sun. It is snowing now. Then, it will be hot in a couple of days. The forecast for the weather seems to be unbelievable lately. This week, people tended to start conversations with, “I can’t believe it is supposed to snow later this week. It’s gorgeous out right now!” or “I just don’t know how to dress for this weather lately.” Even when I asked an employee in CVS this morning how she was doing, she referred directly to the weather stating this weather was out of control. It is true that this week the weather does not seem to be conforming to our beliefs about winter or consistency. If we choose to believe the weather must conform to our beliefs we can disturb ourselves by becoming angry and may have a difficult time accomplishing tasks or being friendly to those around us.
Thankfully, according to REBT, we have other options. In order to help ourselves get to a place of preferences rather than demands about the weather, we can remember that we have no control over the weather and that the weather does as the weather pleases, but we can control our beliefs. In addition, joking about it may help as well. Here is one I just read from a childrens’ joke list: “Q: Why did the woman go outside with her purse open? A: Because she expected some change in the weather.” Then, we can choose to believe that we would prefer the weather act how we’d like it to; however we can stand it if it does not. In this case, we will most likely feel a healthy amount of annoyance and possibly we won’t sense the urge to speak as much about the weather with others. In addition, we may be more likely to accomplish our tasks and our interactions with others may be friendlier.