Science project: how weather affects human emotions

Written by lindsay pietroluongo
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Science project: how weather affects human emotions
Sunny days help boost mood. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Weather, including the temperature, cloud cover, wind and rain or snow can greatly affect a person's emotions, health and even quality of life. Our emotions are more than just how we feel on the inside. Our feelings also affect our decision-making ability and how we think. Many people are familiar with the "winter blues," but health-affecting weather goes beyond the cold months; everybody reacts differently to various types of weather.

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Temperature

Temperature and humidity both play a great role in affecting a person's mood. Often, people feel less anxious with higher temperatures. However, a high percentage of humidity can make a person fatigued, hinder concentration and lessen how affectionate they act with a loved one.

Sunshine

Vitamin D is an important part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and we can get Vitamin D from regular sun exposure. Always wear sun protection and spend only a limited amount of time in the sun every day; too much sun exposure can lead to health and skin problems. People who receive insufficient exposure to sunshine may experience depression, particularly if they're also in highly humid conditions that can accompany rainfall. Those who get the recommended amount of sun exposure may feel happier than people who don't spend enough time in the sun. Darker days are known to make people feel sleepy and sluggish.

Melatonin and Serotonin

In darkness, melatonin is released in the brain by the pineal gland. Melatonin starts the sleep cycle and makes a person sleepy and ready for bed. In light, the melatonin stops being produced. Instead, serotonin is produced, lifting people's moods and helping them to wake up and start the day.

Business

Several businesses suffer due to weather. From their production to their sales and income, businesses often take a hit if there are bad weather conditions. If the weather is extreme, either very cold or very hot, consumers tend to stay indoors; businesses have a hard time meeting their budgets.

Temperament

While many people feel somewhat affected by the weather, our dispositions are not inherently changed by a "bad" weather day. A negative mood is not from the rain, wind or snow, it's our temperament and how we choose to experience weather conditions.

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