Can the Weather Have an Impact on Your Mood?
While a change in weather can be refreshing at times — and even necessary in some situations, such as rain during a drought — it can also be aggravating.
When unfavourable weather persists (and persists), it can hamper outdoor plans, make transportation a nightmare, and, frankly, feel like it’s affecting your general mood.
Of course, it’s not just rain. Winter’s brutal cold, as well as prolonged heat and humidity, can be taxing.
So, what really is the situation? Is it possible that the weather has an effect on your mood, or is it merely a fabrication of your imagination?
The relationship between weather and mood is a bit hazy.
The research underlying whether or not the weather has an impact on your mood is debatable. The research is scarce and inconsistent.
There is evidence to support a link.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, evidence supporting a relationship between the two began to emerge.
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For example, in a 1984 study, researchers looked at a number of mood factors (ranging from anxiety and despair to optimism and violence) in relation to certain meteorological variables:
Pressure at the surface of the earth
The amount of sunshine, temperature, and humidity had the biggest impact on mood, according to the study. It was shown that high humidity reduced focus and increased tiredness, which is something that many Houstonians can relate to.
In addition, a 2005 study discovered that spending more time outside in nice weather is linked to a better mood and memory. Because subjects had been deprived of beautiful weather for the whole winter, the study indicated that spring was associated with improved happiness, and that hotter weather was associated with poorer mood in the summer.
However, there is evidence indicating the contrary.
While some research indicates that there is a link between weather and mood, not every study reveals a strong link.
For example, a 2008 study indicated that the weather had no effect on one’s positive attitude. To put it another way, greater sunlight and warmer weather did not make a happy individual even happier. However, the study discovered that sunlight, wind, and temperature could have a minimal impact on negative moods like fatigue.
It’s also worth noting that, while the previously cited 2005 study did find a correlation between spending time outside in beautiful weather and higher mood, the effect wasn’t always significant. In actuality, the impact was minimal.
Taken together, it’s uncertain whether weather has a real impact on one’s mood.
Overall, we still have a lot more to learn before we can establish a link between mood and the weather.
Mood is a complex phenomenon that is influenced and influenced by numerous things.
What is becoming clearer, though, is that the way weather impacts mood varies greatly from person to person.
Is there a weather type for each of us?
There’s precedent for the idea that the weather affects each of us differently.
Consider seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is defined as experiencing severe mood swings as the seasons change. Winter SAD, sometimes known as the “winter blues,” is a melancholy mood experienced only during the shorter days of the winter.
SAD is a relatively uncommon mood illness, accounting for just around 6% of the population. The National Institute of Mental Health, on the other hand, believes that this disorder is significantly more widespread, especially in its milder forms.
And according to a 2011 study, the weather does have an effect on mood — at least for some people.
The overall relationship between weather and mood was scarcely, if at all, significant, similar to earlier studies. The researchers did find, however, that while half of the people in the trial were unaffected by the weather, the other half were severely affected.
The study found four categories of weather reactivity based on these diverse subpopulations:
Those who are unaffected by the weather — mood has nothing to do with the weather.
On warm, sunny days, summer lovers’ moods increase.
Those who despise summer will find that their attitude improves on cool, gloomy days.
Rain haters — those who are irritated by rain in particular
This shows that some people are very weather-resistant, while others are weather-sensitive. Furthermore, persons who are weather reactive may be influenced differently by varied weather patterns.
Hope this helps!