The sun was shining yesterday, and as I soaked it in, I realized how much the weather affects our mood. From seasonal affective disorder to the grey day blues, we are often influenced by the world around us, even when we don't realize it. So how can we combat the rainy day blues?
Before we talk about that, let's have a little look at the research to see if this phenomenon is even real or just a misperception. According to an article in Web MD, "If you feel down during a downpour, it’s not your imagination: Bad weather can indeed have a negative effect on your emotions. According to one study, nearly 9 percent of people fall into the “rain haters” category."1
A second article in PsychCentral confirms there maybe something to this. "There’s a fair amount of research in this area (more than the 3 or 4 studies mentioned in the blog), and I think the overall preponderance of evidence suggests that weather can have more than just a “little effect” on your mood." 2 This same author writes a follow up article stating there is evidence on weather and mood and how that actually affects us, IE: heat and crime, rain and depression, sunshine and good moods.3 Dr Mercola also shares some references about the way weather affects us as well as ways to combat it in this article: How the Weather Can Affect Your Mood.
Ok, there's at least there is enough evidence to suggest we look at it further, after all we know health is a complex and interconnected process. So what can we do about it? First of all we can take advantage of good weather. Don't put off that nature walk because you're too busy, because you can't control when the sun is shining. I did NOT want to go out kayaking yesterday because I was so tired. We had just spent several hours doing some brain activities combined with a drive home from town and all I wanted to do was sleep. But my son, turning 18 soon, wanted to go and I have enough for site to know time with our kids is short, so I mustered up the effort to get in the truck after the guys loaded the boats and off we went. Once I got out on the water in that beautiful sunshine my fatigue melted away. That's not to say I was all of a sudden roaring around the lake, but the oppressive weight of tiredness was gone.
We can also enjoy the good weather after it has passed. Yup, even photos of gorgeous scenery can improve mood. The previous article from Dr Mercola.com states, "When photos of green spaces were seen after the math test, the parasympathetic nervous system was activated and lowered heart rates."4
So, take the time to take it in when the going is good and save those memories for a rainy day with well framed images of those pleasant moments. To learn more about how you can improve your mood, lengthen your life, and enjoy better health through positive lifestyle choices, take our free course "Optimal Health" at www.BodyMindHealthCoach.com
1. Taylor, Julie. “Can Rainy Days Really Get You Down?” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/balance/features/can-rainy-days-really-get-you-down#1.
2. Grohol, J. (2008). Weather Can Change Your Mood. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/weather-can-change-your-mood/
3. Grohol, J. (2014). Can Weather Affect Your Mood?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/can-weather-affect-your-mood/
4. Mercola.com, articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/31/weather-affects-mood.aspx.