Why do you smile at the bright sunshine or feel bogged down on a dark, rainy day? Know how weather affects human emotions in this article.
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”
Not many of us will agree with John Ruskin over the above lines. Sunshine is delicious of course, but rain is hardly refreshing when it pours incessantly through the dirty, gray sky. A ferocious wind may induce fear, and a snowy day rarely makes you feel good about anything. Weather, in fact, is the biggest metaphor of human emotions. It has such a great impact on our lives that most of our plans are influenced by local weather forecast. It is amazing how we can associate different human emotions with the myriad moods of nature. Incidentally, this is not just a psychological phenomenon, but it has been proven that weather indeed affects us at physiological level.
What are the Effects of Weather on Human Emotions
Although, it is impossible for the weather to create or induce emotions in human beings, it certainly enhances or triggers your existing frame of mind. For example, if you have been dumped by your partner, then a dark, dreary day would only make you feel worse and gloomy. Although, a sunny day wouldn’t take away your pain, it can certainly lift your spirits, so that you feel a lot less miserable. Here is how the different moods of nature affect your own emotions.
According to a study conducted by E. Howarth and M.S. Hoffman, sunny weather induces the feeling of happiness, well-being and good health. Rise in temperature was found to be in proportion with lift in spirits. Sunny weather reduced the feeling of anxiety and skepticism. The positive effects of sun on human emotions can be attributed to a neuro-chemical named serotonin. Serotonin controls emotions related to memory, depression and sleep. The levels of serotonin increase in sunny weather which has a positive impact on your mind.
Humidity has adverse effects on human emotions such as affection and vigor. Humidity makes your mind and body sluggish and impedes your desire to do anything. Besides, it also affects your concentration and makes you feel sleepy.
Ever wondered why you feel sleepy when you switch off the lights or pull curtains? A chemical named melatonin is responsible for this. Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin, in the absence of sunlight. Melatonin induces sleep at night.
Winter days are characterized by less sunlight and extreme coldness. The dull, dreary winter has same effect of the human mind as dark night. The levels of serotonin fall and you start feeling gloomy. The production of serotonin in winter is only half of that in summer. In some people, winter brings about annual mood shift identified as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. The symptoms of SAD surface by the end of fall and remain throughout the winter months.
People react in different ways to rain. While some people may immensely enjoy rain, a few others may totally get depressed and annoyed by rain. However, nobody likes dull, rainy days marked by persistent downpour.
Weather also triggers certain health conditions, which invariably has effect on human psyche. For instance, winter months make conditions such as arthritis worse, causing a lot of pain and discomfort to individuals. Similarly, rain is associated with various common infections, which may affect the quality of life of people.
Although, different people react to same weather in a different way, there are certainly some seasons that are able to induce a feeling of happiness more than other seasons. To quote John Ruskin again, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”