Covid 19 pandemic made us more close to nature. During the lockdown, have you noticed how weather impacts your mind? If we see closely, we can understand how the weather really impacts our minds. The likes and dislikes of a specific season and weather can be personal choices, but scientifically there are specific weather impacts on our mood. Do you know?
During the worldwide lockdown, people, especially those living in urban places, came close to nature; many of us made a habit to look at the sky! So when you feel more relaxed with a cloud studded sky or a blue sunny sky? Festive are yet to come, everywhere during festive times people in general stay happy.
But what if in any festive day there is a forecast of low pressure, rain, and thunderstorm or in an extreme a hurricane alert?! Such a horrible feeling none want to imagine! Most Americans and Europeans enjoy a chill Christmas. But countries like India, Philippines, Australia etc. celebrate most of the festivals during summer days. Bur apart from festive time, what about the rest of the year?
Do you know weather impacts our minds? You are thinking, who doesn’t know about SAD, i.e., seasonal affective disorder, but is it valid for all? Is actually weather impact in our mind? In a word, the answer is yes, it does! But that’s not all.
Weather Vs. Mood–
Suppose you have a very great Sunday planning with family and friends as it’s the last Sunday before Christmas and you have already planned for the whole day in advance. Now on that day after waking up, if you see an overcast sky, how would it feel? I swear I will be furious. What will be your reaction? I guess most of you will feel some like me! Or you consider a situation when you planned for an outdoor barbecue party at night, and you canceled it due to a storm alert.
Personal Preference –
If now I ask you what your favorite season some of you will say, like me, winter is, some will say spring, and some loves fall, so we all have different choices of favorite season. Let me know what is your favorite season and why? Our favorite season gives a positive vibe in our minds, but the fact is every season has a different impact on our minds. So many researchers have conducted that if I started to say them all, it would take 5/6 posts to complete. It sounds boring! But the experimental results are fascinating. Many researchers on this topic found variable and many times conflicting outcomes. Like….
Experimental outcome –
Some experiments found that higher temperature increases negative feelings like people become more irritated, distressed; some experiments found that higher temperatures or even extreme rain increases human aggression, and as a result, interpersonal violence also goes up. Like, in the same way, higher temperature and severe rain conditions lead to decreasing life satisfaction.
Statistically, it’s a proven fact that suicides peak during the spring and summer times in the US. The report says lack of sunshine exposure makes people more unhappy and tends to a bad mood. Some reports claim that low pressure involves depression!
The most known one is ‘SAD,’ yes the seasonal affective disorder that was also clinically approved by many researchers. According to the American Academy of Family and Physicians, about 5% of the US population experience SAD each year when the symptoms last for about five months! Especially peoples from near most zones of north and south poles suffer from it massively. People from northern part of USA, Sweden, Canada etc. know this better.
Interestingly some studies have found that warmer average temperature in winter and the lower average temperature in summer results in increasing happiness in people (I was thinking how they were able to read my mind!).
Who knows why they didn’t do any study on the effects of these storms in our mind, for last few years the increased number of storms in the east and southeast coast is so that it should have some studies. For work purposes, I experienced hurricane storms in Florida quite a few times, and personally, it gives me a feeling of scare and agitation. Personally, I hate this situation when you can’t go to enjoy the sea beach. Who of you are from the east coast? Let me know in the comments section.
Scientific facts —
The above experimental data are somewhat valid, but there is a vast explanation of the impact of weather on our minds. Our body and brain are running with different chemical reactions. Our glands produce different chemicals and various neurochemical reactions occur in the brain. These reactions are dependent on some external factors, and one of these main external factors is the weather.
You must be thinking how? Like SAD occurs due to the systemic rhythm of our body. During the absence of sunlight, our brain produces a hormone called melatonin that helps us to sleep. When it’s the overcast sky or during low sundial days due to limited bright light exposure, our brain gets confused about when to produce melatonin. Even in the daytime, it has more melatonin that makes us feel sleepy without sleep, gives depression, fatigue, etc. When we are exposed to sunlight, our body produces more serotonin (also called happy hormone) that makes us stay awake, workable, and happy. Through sunlight, we get the necessary Vitamin D which has many known and unknown impacts. So with good exposure to sunlight, we are more prone to stay active.
Again, due to these same chemical reactions, women are more prone to mood swings, and during cold days to keep the body warm, a hormone endorphin production is boosted, leading to a happier state of mind in women.
Then what’s the solution —
Now you must be thinking then what to do? It’s really simple. Do what you love to do. Confused? We don’t have any control over the chemical reactions, that’s true, but we can change the effect of external factors hastily. Like when you are feeling very agitated and tired during high-temperature days, why not going to a water park to enjoy yourself? If not possible to go then even in your home arrange a water party! It will be the new thing I know, but I guarantee your guests, and most importantly, you will love it. If you are not enjoying extreme winter, then engage yourself in some indoor activities like singing, dancing, etc.
Researches show that people who spend more than 30 minutes in outdoor daily in a pleasant weather are more productive and happy. But please a general caution, if you are now are in pandemic lockdown; do not try it. So try to stay outdoors as long as possible in pleasant weather. We all love the changes in our life, that’s why most of us enjoy the first snowfall, the first few days of spring and fall, and even don’t we enjoy the summer, especially on sea beaches? So keep these changes constant in life. When you are somewhat depressed due to weather, use vibrant colors in life, even in food, you will see that low feeling will vanish.
It has been seen with the weather, men are more adjustable, but women have more problems. So from now, stay awake about these mood impacts so that you can stay productive. One more important thing is that it is seen that all these mood issues due to weather can be overcome with a bit of consciousness. Lastly, one of the most critical findings from all of these researchers is that weather impacts our mind and mood, but this impact is not as significant as we thought it was. So enjoy each season with your warm heart, and if it feels not good, try to solve it.