Does Weather Affect Your Mood?

“It has be proven that the weather does not affect our mood” my lecturer claimed. He also added that his statement was not just a bold guessing but someone’s research’s outcomes.

Well, I could not just leave it like that. I am a proud and stubborn creature so I had to find the truth out myself (giggling loud). The truth is out there, they say 🙂 (X files style lol) The research my lecturer was referring to was written by Denissen, Jaap J. A.; Butalid, Ligaya; Penke, Lars; van Aken, Marcel A. G. “The effects of weather on daily mood: A multilevel approach.”

“You can’t get mad at weather because weather’s not about you. Apply that lesson to most other aspects of life” Doug Coupland

The Nerdy Stuff: RESEARCH

Now, the research considers several weather conditions including temperature, wind power, sunlight, precipitation, air pressure, and photo period AND several displays of mood including positive affect, negative affect, and tiredness. Before you start yawning I will quickly outline what the has research found:

Accordingly, sunshine and lollipops do not increase our already good mood; however rain and overcast can increase our already established unhappiness. Apparently there were even two other works on the topic researching correlation between weather and mood including “A Warm Heart and a Clear Head: The Contingent Effects of Weather on Mood and Cognition” and “Mood and Temperament” (you can Google either if you want to read more).

On other hand, there were other studies conducted claiming pretty much the opposite. Howard and Hoffman claim that “humidity, temperature, and hours of sunshine had the greatest effect on mood. High levels of humidity lowered scores on concentration while increasing reports of sleepiness. Rising temperatures lowered anxiety and skepticism mood scores”. The entire research is published and easily accessible. If / when you feel especially nerdy, go and have a look, it is fairly curious.

There are more studies proving that weather generally does not affect humans’ mood in any way. At the same time, there are respectively a lot of academic researches conducted disproving it, showing the opposite.  See for yourself 🙂

“Bad weather always looks worse through a window” Tom Lehrer

Personal Input: A WEATHER GIRL

I have been seasonal all my life. I have also been looked after by an almost personal neurologist since I was 4 years old. In brief, I used to have severe migraines as well as night horrors, often sleep walking and all of the rest. Although I have not been having any of the described problems since I was about 10 years old, I was “diagnosed” with being highly sensitive to weather changes especially air pressure, sunshine or the lack of it and thunder storm. When I was little I could foresee a storm about three days in advance suffering from awful headaches.

Winter depression is a common affliction for those who live in our northern climate. Its clinical name is Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) and up to 5% of the population (especially in northern states) may suffer from it. well, back than I had something much scarier than just winter depression. I must add I was “surviving” winters pretty bad regardless. Although it is not a disease, in my opinion, it is a very unpleasant state of mind and body.

SUNSHINE IS AWESOME

In addition to just loving the sunshine, we also need it to absorb calcium and phosphorus from our diet. People lacking vitamin D (and I mean in serious dosage of course) often suffer from bones deformities. Although vitamin D can be found in foods, not only sunlight, it is really important to expose to some sun now and than. Okay I cannot hold it any longer – SUNSHINE IS AWESOME!!! 😀

I, on other hand, know people who find sunshine disturbing and almost unbearable. Nope, I am not talking about vampires 🙂 However, I have not worked this one out yet. Firstly, I’ve tried to research it, attempting to find any mentioning anywhere about the people who love gloomy sad weather. Well, nothing really. Maybe they are vampires, in fact 🙂

“I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining” Groucho Marx

My best friend who was also born in Russia, like myself, visited me in Sydney in around March (several years ago) when it was hot most of the time. She spent about a month with me not getting out to the beach much. I did not pay much attention to it till the moment she moved to London. Many people fly across to Australia to get away from the UK weather whereas my good friend absolutely loves colder climate. There are many mysteries in the world 🙂

“Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather” Dale Evans

Does Weather Affect Your Mood?

THUS,

I am not convinced that weather does not affect our mood. Nope, not at all! I absolutely adore Sydney for its sunny weather most days of the year. I also feel pretty angry when winter strikes. Although winter in Sydney means sunny and around 20 degrees of warmth, I still miss hot sunny days 🙂

I was born in Moscow, Russia, which has four full on seasons: summer is unbearably hot,  winter is scary freezing, autumn is incredibly wet and windy and spring spells like happiness. The temperature varies from plus 35 to minus 30 from summer to winter which makes a lot of people very depressed and unstable. The country where gloomy weather nestles about 350 days a year, depression, gloominess and anger are the attributes, not the rudeness of the culture. Therefore telling me that the weather does not affect mood is like telling Albert Einstein that general theory of relativity is bullshit 🙂

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