Weather and Your Mood
How are you feeling today?
Why are you feeling this way?
Could it possibly be because of the weather?
Our immediate mood (Momentary happiness) is more affected by the weather than our general well-being will be affected by it. Studies found that when people were surveyed about their mood on a sunny day it indicated a higher life satisfaction compared to people surveyed on a rainy day.
Why does it affect your mood?
- Weather affects your mood through symbolic associations. Think about a sunny day... what pops up in your head? Pool days, picnics, lying in the sun on the beach. Now think about rainy days... what is the first thing you think about now? Forced to stay inside, dark, overcast.
- Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression. The only way to get enough of this essential vitamin is through exposure to sunlight. Several studies have shown sunlight to improve your mood.
- Most people prefer milder temperatures and express greater feelings of optimism and joy in these types of conditions. We tend to spend more time outdoors in good weather. Outdoor hobbies like gardening or going on a hike makes us more physically active. Exercise has been proven to boost your mood because it secretes happy hormones (endorphins).
- We all have an internal clock telling us when to get up and start the day when to eat and sleep etc. But on rainy days our room is darker than normal with no sunshine, which means staying in bed.
- Extreme cold and extreme heat also have an effect on our mood. In cold climates, people stay indoors and get less exercise. Getting dressed is time-consuming and annoying. In very warm climates, people also spend more time indoors where they can escape the heat. These humid conditions can be highly uncomfortable and demotivating.
"The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude."
- Dennis S Brown
There are many different people; the Summer Lovers (better mood with warmer weather), the Rain Haters (particularly bad mood on rainy days), the Summer Haters (worse mood with warmer weather), and the unaffected (people with weak associations between weather and mood). Which one are you?
We have the power not to be affected by the weather. Once you are aware of this interesting factor that plays a role, you can take control and change your mood. It comes down to a decision, decide each morning to have a good day.
Mari van Wyk