Different weather patterns impact mood

BY ESTELA SUAREZ

Being born and raised in South Florida, senior Emilie Vargas said the weather has a tremendous effect on her mood. She said her mood changes completely on a dark and cloudy day from how she would be on a bright and sunny day.

“On days when it is nice out and I can enjoy the sun and the breeze I tend to be in a better mood and overall just happier. It makes me more productive and more inclined to be outside and do things,” Vargas said. “On days when it is cloudy and humid, I tend to feel more tired and unmotivated. I usually do not even feel like leaving my house.”

Like Vargas, senior Alexis Maldonado said her mood changes are affected by the activities the weather either enables or prohibits her from being able to do.  She said being able to go outside or having to stay indoors can make all the difference in her mood.

“I have always loved outdoor activities and it was always disappointing when I was younger and the weather would prohibit me from playing outside or doing sports because doing those things has always made me happy,” Maldonado said. “I hated being locked inside my house because I would get so bored.”

Even now, Maldonado said, as a teenager, she hates being in her home. She said that weather restrictions disappoint her even more now that she’s older.

“ Now that I can drive, I love to go out on a sunny day and hang out with my friends and go to the beach or just go to the park and sit because it makes me happy” Maldonado said. “On the other hand, when the day is gloomy and dark it just makes me want to sit at home on the couch and watch movies.”

According to AP psychology teacher David Geller, these effects can all be psychologically explained.

“Studies have shown if a person is sad or depressed and the weather is bad, it will add to the negative emotion,” Mr. Geller said. “Also, dark increases the hormone melatonin levels, which makes you tired and decreases the hormone serotonin level, which is linked to depression.”

Mr. Geller said nice weather will tend to have positive effects on mood while bad weather will have negative effects on mood. Despite this, there are certain situations where the effects of positive and negative weather are flipped.

“Bad weather can lead to depression, moodiness and tiredness, while sunny and nice weather can lead to happiness and motivation,” Geller said. “ That being said, sunny weather can lead to insomnia, which can have negative effects on individuals.”

Mr. Geller said he is not immune to the effects of the weather, as he too feels the effects of gloomy weather in contrast to a bright day.

“I get tired when the weather is dreary. However, when it is sunny and warm, I get excited to exercise and head to the beach,” Mr. Geller said.

Vargas has learned to deal with the varying weather circumstances and tries her best to always be in a good mood, in spite of gloomy or dreary weather.

“I am a generally happy person, but I would be lying if I said that my mood doesn’t damper sometimes,” Vargas said. “I try not to let the weather affect me as much and I think that for the most part I do a good job of it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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