The changing weather on our emotions

Bad weather can go beyond making people feel sad or depressed. It’s actually called Seasonal Affective Disorder… Most of us believe weather can affect our mood.

Fall is officially here, and for most of us, that means shorter days, longer nights, and declining temperatures. Of course, we’re all well aware that seasonal change has a noticeable impact on our day-to-day lifestyles, but the scientific reasons why the weather affects our mood the way it does aren’t always so obvious. Thankfully, we have decades of social psychological research to help us shed some light on why we feel the way we do when we do, so we can better adapt our minds and bodies through the changing of the seasons.

But before we delve into the science, let’s set the scene. It’s become an unspoken rule that come Daylight Savings Time, just as we prepare to set our clocks back an hour and bask in the glory that is one extra hour of blissful sleep, we simultaneously and unconsciously kiss social outings goodbye, and instead opt for Friday nights filled with movies, takeout, and wine. Do you ever wonder why that is? Sure, we all know that coldness and darkness cause hibernation, but what exactly is the coldness and darkness doing to our internal chemistry? We know what happens to our brain on drugs, but what happens to our brain on sunlight? Or more specifically, a lack thereof?

And how about rain? Why do we seriously contemplate quitting our jobs and succumbing to a life of hermitude and Easy Mac as we repeatedly reach for the snooze button on any given rainy day? Furthermore, why the carbohydrate craving? Sticking to an exercise regimen would be that much easier if only I craved kale salads and coconut water year round. It’s as if the exact moment that summer ends, my brain has no choice but to consume itself with thoughts of fettuccine alfredo and cheesy garlic bread.

Basically, there’s a scientific reason behind each and every one of these feelings, and once we understand exactly why it is we react to our environment the way that we do, we can better prepare ourselves for any shift in climate.


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