Can Your Mood Be Affected by Weather?


| 3 Comments
It's that time of year. The leaves are falling, the sun sets a little earlier, and we trade in our flip flops and tank tops for Uggs and sweaters. State College's weather is far from predictable, but it is certain to get cold in Happy Valley. So does this weather change effect our mood? Logically we would think when it's sunny we would be happier, especially since the sun gives you vitamin D which is largely responsible for your hormone levels. When it's cloudy you don't have that vitamin D and people can sometimes suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms can be things like depression and weight gain. Ways to prevent yourself from falling victim to this is making sure you're staying exposed to natural sunlight and getting regular exercise
All this stuff seems pretty reasonable. I know I don't feel as happy when its constantly cloudy and snowing or raining almost everyday. However, according to this study, the affect weather has on your mood doesn't seem that substantial. To summarize things, different people favor different weather. Because of this, when you do a randomized study on weather's affect on people's mood, it's hard to see if nice weather makes people happier or not since some people don't like warmer weather. In this study, they grouped people together based on their weather preference. You can click on the link to check out the results. 
Another thing this study looked at was a daughters preference compared to their mothers. It came to the conclusion that more often than not mothers and daughters liked the same type of weather. So I guess it's up to you to decide if you believe that weather really does affect your mood, if it's more of a hereditary thing, or if weather really doesn't have any affect at all. Either way, the weather is starting to get colder and I'm already starting to miss the heat of the sun. 
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3 Comments

Hi Mackenzie,
This caught my attention because in 7th grade, one of my teachers told me about S.A.D. and I thought it was complete BS. But when I saw you're article, I remembered this teacher and it was surprising to me that there was actually a study and evidence behind this disorder. I don't think I am affected by the seasons but I definitely don't like the cold and I am dreading the winter here at State College. At least the the next week doesn't look too bad so enjoy it while it lasts. http://www.weather.com/weather/5-day/University+Park+PA+16802:4:US

I have always felt like the weather affects my mood. If it's raining, I don't feel as excited or motivated to do anything. However, if it's sunny and feels great out, I'm so happy. I'm not sure if it's a "brainwashing" thing I put into my head a few years ago, or I actually feel that way. My friend and I always joke that the rain ruins our days and nothing good ever happens. This article on WebMD makes a really good point about the study they did showed the sun tended to make people more tired and that's something I agree with. Also, wind had a more negative effect on people's moods in spring and summer than in fall and winter. This is something very interesting that I'd love to learn more about!

i definitely think that weather affects peoples mood. I have come to notice here in State College that as soon as spring comes around after a dreadful winter, everyone is so much more happier. People will be playing frisbee outside, or laying on old main eating lunch with friends. Even when it rains i find myself not wanting to get out of ed and go to class. And when its really hot, I find myself just wanting to sit in an air conditioned place! heres a great article from msn that explains how weather can change your mood!

http://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/depression/does-weather-really-affect-our-mood-1

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