The whole country is basking in a heat-wave. The beaches are full, the parks packed and the sales of ice cream are going through the roof. But is this heat-wave leaving people cool calm and collected or is it leaving them hot under the collar and ready to blow?
A person’s level of anger and stress is a response to their environment. Police chiefs and medical staff are more than aware of this as heat-waves are associated with an increase in violent crime.
But how do heat-waves affect families and individuals?
As the temperature gets hotter, so do our tempers. Summer heat-waves make us act like cranky, whiny toddlers, ready to lash out and apportion blame.
Any doctor would explain that an increase in body temperature causes an increase in physical arousal – your heart rate goes up and your blood pressure rises as your body tries to cool itself off.
Its all very well sitting by the seaside, licking an ice-lolly and sipping a cool drink, but for many of us, heat-waves mean being uncomfortable, irritable and more prone than ever, to anger and stress
Normally congenial folks seem to be simmering, while others are on a slow burn. Hotter heads are steaming, and a few have even been pushed to the boiling point.
Health officials are warning people to take care as the UK continues to bake in a prolonged heat-wave, with special attention being paid towards the very young children, elderly people and pregnant women.
When it’s very hot, people have a tendency to get dehydrated or under-hydrated, and that can certainly result in becoming anxious and irritable, so it’s very important to maintain hydration.
With records for the hottest day of the year appearing to be broken on a daily basis, its best that everyone takes measures to stay cool and not to over-boil.
Five ways to keep cool calm and collected.
1. Stay hydrated.
This one is obvious but it bears repeating: drink lots of water. Never stop drinking water.
2. Stay inside if you can.
We all love to bask in the sunshine, but keeping in the shade, keeps us from boiling over.
3. Get wet.
Stick your feet in a tub of cold water, jump in the sea or a swimming pool, or just put a soaked towel around your neck. Having a bucket full of water thrown over you always cools the temper!
4. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day, but alcoholic drinks make you urinate more frequently and that’s not good. Same goes for coffee.
5. Keep covered.
Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible, even if you are spending the day outside. If a sun umbrella sounds too dainty for you, at least put on a hat.
Heat-waves are there to be enjoyed and savoured but be aware of the dangers. Sunburn isn’t the only symptom of a beating Sun. Anger and stress levels are very often raised but with sound advice and a cool head; there is no reason to get too hot under the collar and no reason to boil over.
For more information on keeping your temper cooled, check out the websites of the British Association of Anger Management, such as www.stressexperts.co.uk, www.beatinganger.com and www.angermanage.co.uk.
Enjoy the sun but don’t become its victim.