The weather certainly can affect a person’s mental health! Here are some of the fascinating insights that researchers have found:
SAD is a Thing
Researchers have found that seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is real. It’s a type of depression that afflicts a person during a certain season. Though the conventional thinking is that SAD affects people in the winter, some people also experience it during the spring or summer.
Heat and Endless Rain Make People Crazy
Studies have found that high temperatures make people aggressive. Aggression between groups increased as temperatures spiked, as did aggression between individuals. Aggression also increased during periods of intense rainfall, especially in those places where it does not rain a great deal. Women, at least, were more unhappy with their lives during hot, rainy days.
But High Temperatures Ease Depression
Researchers also found that higher temperatures elevated a person’s mood, while overcast days and wind worsened depression in people who were prone to it.
On the Other Hand, Suicides are at Their Peak During Warm Months
Mental health experts find that people can be so depressed during the dreary winters that they have no energy. During the bright, warm days of spring and summer depressives might find enough energy to do themselves in. People who worked outdoors were more likely to kill themselves during the spring, and office workers were more likely to kill themselves in the summer. Suicides are down during the autumn and winter, and researchers have found this to be true all over the world.
What Can be Done?
People who feel low on dark, rainy days should turn on the lights, which elevates a person’s natural serotonin levels. This raises the mood. Going outside for a walk, even on days that are rainy and cold, is also helpful. Walking outside exposes a person to ultraviolet light, which can make them feel better. If it’s just too awful to go outside, doing things that are simply pleasurable like reading a favorite book or watching a favorite movie is useful.
Other tips to raise the mood is to exercise and to call or visit a loved one.