The Effect of Weather on Mental Health

Besides dictating a lot of our every day decisions. Weather has a large emotional impact on us from day to day. During the summer, people look forward to waking up early, embracing the clear skies and taking advantage of the long and warm days. This sets up a very happy and energetic mood. However, the shorter, colder winter days leave a mark of negativity on people, they seem lazy, slightly depressed and prefer to stay in bed to wait out the rain. A hibernation instinct that has been programmed in our brains. With downpour come dangers, so we automatically prefer to stay indoors.

Temperature and precipitaion vastly effects people’s decision making and their feelings. During the warmer seasons, people are more outgoing and friendly, they want to make the most of the weather to get things done. Naturally warmer periods are also the time to mate in the animal world, as the warmth will ensure that the young ones will have a higher chance of survivability. However, when ther is continual rain and coldness, we prefer to stay indoors to try and warm ourselves up. We read, we play board games, watch tv and do other work, hoping that we can wait it out.

White staying indoors during the colder months, we tend to get bored easily, as it seems to take forever for things to clear up and most things that could have been done indoors have already been done. Being confined into small spaces during winter makes some people more aggravated, while others begin to suffer from cabin fever symptoms. However, extremely hot and dry summer days has also got a powerful effect on people. We tend to become tired more often, sleepy and lose out apetites. This is a natural response by the body to slow down and avoid doing as many activities as possible to reduce muscle overheating and thus sweating. We tend to cool as we sit or lie still, that is why siestas increase in frequencies during very hot days.

Diametrically changing conditions outside often create a great deal of interest. When the outside world suddenly becomes covered by a white blanket of snow, we tend to regain our energy and rush outside to play in the new environment, such as skiing, snowman making and snow ball fights. We subconsiously do this as it takes our mind of the slow wintery months. However, blizzards and heavy outpours, further deteriorate emotional conditions, because now its almost impossible to leave the house. Due to this people are immobile and begin to gain a lot of weight, not just to make it through the winter, but due to lack of movement. Thunderstorms, although evoke fear and the need to hide in a well built structure, also cause a lot of interest and enthusiasm due to the magnificant displays of lightning. However, the survival instinct also takes over and the need to tie things down, to bring animals inside also activates.

During the winter times, there is less daylight. This decrease increases the body’s prodcution of malatonin and increases the production of seratonin, thus the sleepiness incrases. However the constant need to sleep for longer hours, may bring upon sadness. However, in the modern world, the pace of every day lives is very high, we are ever more busy with work, careers, achievements, family and other things that keep us preoccupied, that we at times tend to fail to notice the chaning seasons and this vastly improves our conditions, because it tends to keep out minds of depressive winters or scorching summers.