Heatwave side effects: If the heat makes your blood boil, here’s what to do

The heatwave can have many side effects, and anger seems to be one too! Some people feel more angry and frustrated in the summer months. Read on to find out all about feeling angry in summer and what you can do about it.
how to deal with heat exhaustion
Heatwave can have side effects even on your mood. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 20 Apr 2023, 07:00 pm IST
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The heatwave in India has already got everyone worried. While the summer season gives us a chance to wear breezy and floral outfits, sip on cooling drinks and gorge on yummy fruits like mangoes, it is also about surviving the heat, sweat and infections. There are multiple heatwave side effects, but it turns out that even your mood gets affected by the heat. Anger is one emotion that can get charged up during summer. An expert shares what’s the connection between heat and anger.

To explore the link between anger and soaring temperature, Health Shots reached out to Dr Rishi Gautam, a US-based mental health expert and a specialist of psychiatry.

heat and anger
Anger is not worth it! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Heatwave side effects and mood changes

A study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that days with high temperatures during summer months in the US were connected to increased rates of emergency department visits for mental health-related condition, including mood disorders. Dr Gautam says that excessively hot temperatures have been shown to alter baseline mood states, making people more irritable, conflictual, angry, and even depressed at times. While it is not clearly understood what all goes into causing this, it is theorised that changes in body temperature, dehydration, poor sleep, increased inflammation, and excessive exposure to bright sunlight can all affect your brain function.

How to handle anger during heatwave

There are a few things you can do to help yourself and calm down your nerves in the heatwave.

1. Identify changes in your mood or see if you feel more angry than usual

You might not always listen to what your family has to say about your mood or life in general. But pay attention to your family or friends if they point out changes in your mood. Then channel this angry energy into other more productive domains, says the expert. Instead of throwing things or yelling at people, you can exercise or engage in a sport (indoors preferably) or art.

2. Understand limitations of what is in your control and accept it

We do not have much control over weather patterns, so feeling overly frustrated over them does not help getting better. Weather is not in our control and you need to accept that.

3. Identify your triggers

Is driving for work in the afternoon sun something you absolutely hate? Or is standing in a line while it is 40 degree Celsius something that ticks you off? You just need to find out what is it that makes you so angry. You may need to make changes in your daily schedule and finish such tasks either in the mornings or late evenings.

heat and anger
You need to identify what’s making you angry. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Hydration

Sometimes you may forget to drink water due to busy schedule, but stay hydrated. Use measured water bottles which show how much water you have consumed during the day. Make it a point to fulfill your requirements. On an average, women need around 2.7 liters of water. You can also go for cooling drinks this summer.

5. Deep breathing and meditation

Just spend 15 minutes on meditation and analyse your thoughts every morning. It goes a long way in controlling sudden mood changes and anger, Dr Gautam. Try to make this a part of your daily routine. It’s a healthy habit after all.

Follow these tips and keep calm this summer for better mental health. After all, the Hulk only looks good on the big screen.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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