The Weather and Mood Connection

The Weather and Mood Connection

Bayli Soles, Staff Writer

The weather supplies many metaphors for our changeable minds. Moods can brighten and darken, dispositions can be sunny and futures can be under a cloud and relationships can be stormy. Like the weather, our emotions sometimes feel like they are uncontrollable. 

Weather provides a vivid language for describing our emotional atmosphere, but does it influence it? Do grey clouds bring grey moods? Of the many aspects of weather, sunshine is the most influential for our mood. Sunshine has repeatedly been found to boost positive moods. Anything that affects our moods affects our behavior. Bad weather indeed can have a negative effect on your emotions.  Accordingly, people are more helpful when the sun is out. In Atlantic City, a study was made that diners tipped more generously on sunny days. Going outside even when it is rainy out can really help with our moods. 

Julia Samton, a psychiatrist at NYC’s Manhatten Neuropsychiatric says, “ I encourage people to really try to make sure they walk outside, even when it’s cold and rainy. Even though it might not seem that light out, you’ll still get some exposure to UV rays, which can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythms and boost your mood.”

“Taking a walk or even sitting in the sun for a few minutes immediately boosts my mood! 10/10 recommend getting your daily dose of Vitamin D!” says Delainie Lewis, a science teacher at CFHS.

Temperature can affect our mind and behavior, independently of sunshine. Baseball pitchers are more likely to hit batters on hot days, an effect that isn’t merely a result of having sweat-slick fingers. 

“The heat can affect the way I pitch because it makes it much more tiring,” adds Robbie Anderson, a junior varsity baseball pitcher.

Heat may increase verbal aggression. In 2008 Beijing Olympics found that stories filed by American journalists contained more negative words on hotter days. Exposing skin to sunlight produces vitamin D, prompting the brain’s production of serotonin, which lifts moods. 

Jenna Miller, who teaches Principles of Biomedical Science, often takes her students outside for class.

“So, not only can you work on your tan while being outside, but the sunshine on your face can help get rid of wintertime blues and boost the happy chemicals that your brain produces! Like my mama says, “Go on out and get some sun on your face!”