Can Weather Shape Our Moods?

I’ve often wondered if the seasons really do affect our moods. Are we happier in the summer than the winter? Are we more hopeful in the spring than the fall?

I found somewhat differing research studies, one from Germany and one from the University of Michigan but in both studies, certain patterns seem to emerge:

1. Sunny warm weather had a positive impact on mental health.

2. Generally in the United States, the optimal temperature for a positive productive mood is 72 degrees.

3. Taking a trip somewhere warm and sunny during the cold dark months of winter can improve mood and memory even after you return home.

4. Weather doesn’t seem to have as dramatic an effect on a positive mood as it does on a negative one.

5. The less sunlight, the more tired people generally seemed to feel – especially if it was also raining.

6. Researchers found that subjects needed to be outdoors for at least 30 minutes in warm sunny weather to have a positive affect on mood.

7. Wind seems to have a more negative effect on mood in spring and summer than in fall and winter.

So, what’s the conclusion? Should we all start saving for our February Hawaii vacation?

I guess I’d say that if we know that weather can play a significant role on mood, then we should be ready to counteract any negativity with positive productive activities. Do those activities you enjoy – listen to cheerful music, read an uplifting book, visit with a positive friend, go for a long walk on a sunny day, watch a good comedy or dance around the house just being silly.

I believe too that we have the power to counteract the negativity if we are willing to take positive action and make positive changes in our lives.

So, what did I do about the weather and my mood? We moved to a sunny and warm climate – does that count as positive action?

** Disclaimer: If you believe you may have an emotional or physical condition, you should consult a health care professional for diagnosis, help and treatment. This article is not intended to give medical or emotional advice. It is for entertainment purposes only.**

Copyright ©2009-2011 Sharon Michaels – All Rights Reserved


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