Are you someone who dreads the icy winds of winter and relishes in the sunshine? Or maybe someone who adores the cold and hides away from the heat?
Whichever season you may prefer, the weather can affect your mood more than you realise, making you more or less likely to do things like help others, be social, or even get a date!
What happens to your mood in the heat?
Warmer, sunny days are often associated with positive experiences such as socialising, weather-dependent outings like a visit to the beach, and the ability to get more things done outdoors giving a sense of achievement and fulfilment.
But, studies show that rising temperatures and hotter days can actually cause some people to become more aggressive. These studies have found that incidents of aggression such as violent crimes, riots, and even road rage increases during hotter days, and even more so on humid days.
What happens to your mood in the cold?
SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a very real thing experienced by hundreds of thousands of people. SAD is a disorder linked with changes in seasons that causes people to experience symptoms of depression in the colder months leading to a decline in mood, motivation, energy levels and general wellbeing. It is thought to happen when there is less of the hormone melatonin (absorbed by sunlight on the skin) and less vitamin D which produces the ‘happy hormone’, serotonin.
SAD can cause people to:
- Lose interest in their usual activities
- Sleep more due to a lack of energy
- Feel slow, sluggish and agitated
- Impede on concentration levels
- Experience depressive thoughts
Although not everyone’s mood in the cold is caused by SAD, there are other factors linked to less positive moods during the cold such as reduced motivation to get outside, socialise, exercise and seek out positive experiences.
A happy medium
Mild winters and summers that offer some reprieve from extreme heat tend to be the preference for most people. Temperate conditions generally offer more opportunities to get outdoors, explore, engage in physical activity and make the most of the daylight.
Whatever your weather personality, it’s a great idea to keep mindful and aware of your shifting moods that may be linked to the seasons and get a jump on how you let it affect you.