Looking outside and seeing rain lashing against the window rarely puts people in a good mood, but can gloomy weather really brings us down? The answer, quite simply, is yes,
If you feel the onset of low mood on a dreary day, it’s not your imagination. Research has shown that when it’s dark and miserable outside, it has a negative effect on your mood and emotions. A lowering of moods during winter has apparently been recorded as far back as 1845. Now named seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the condition is a type of depression that happens to sufferers at certain times of the year — most notably autumn and winter.
So what can you do if your mood starts to drop when the weather outside is frightful? With the help of Fulton Umbrellas, an industry leader and premium supplier of clear umbrellas, here are 5 IDEAL ways to balance your mood during bad weather.
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rain negatively affects our social lives and according to experts, can risk leaving us feeling isolated, frustrated and downbeat. If it’s raining heavily and consistently, we’re more inclined to cancel plans to physically meet our friends and family, or have them cancel on us, which could leave to a less fulfilled social life. Human contact is fundamental to our mental well-being; without it, a number of pathologies including depression and social anxiety can affect us. So next time it’s raining, make plans to meet up with your friends and family, somewhere safe, warm and indoors.
Did you know that rain can actually cause pain? We’re not joking. When it rains the reduction in atmospheric pressure means bodily fluids can move from blood vessels to tissues, causing pressure on the nerves and joints. This can lead to increased pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Also, during colder months, our bodies are forced to work harder to keep us warm, which includes raising our heart rates. This means that more energy is diverted to achieve this aim, causing us to potentially feel lethargic when the temperature drops.
The answer? Exercise more. Not only will your body thank you for it but, as mental health organisation Mind state, getting exercise is a contributor to sound mental health. What’s more, this scientific study found that getting active holds ‘the promise of better mental health outcomes’.
LISTEN TO THE RADIO
If the weather is gloomy outside, simply turning on the radio could make you feel better. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau (declare a conflict of interests, perhaps?) listening to the radio makes people happier and boosts levels of energy. As we’ve already mentioned, we are social animals, and even listening to radio presenters interacting with one another can make us feel part of something, which in turn helps to generate happiness. Furthermore, according to the Discovery Channel, listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical which instantly makes us feel elated.
LET SOME LIGHT IN
When the weather is bad, it can be tempting to crawl into bed and turn the lights off, re-emerging from hibernation when the skies have cleared. However, light can boost serotonin which in turn elevates mood. So, in the words of a certain omnipresent someone, let their be light. Even if it’s cold, take yourself outside for a short stroll. You’ll be exposed to UV rays which can help boost your mood. If that’s not sufficient exposure to the good stuff, consider light therapy, where you’re exposed to artificial light which mimics natural outdoor light.
MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THE SUNSHINE
Did you know that the closer you live to the equator, the less vulnerable you are to the effects of SAD? Sunshine gives our morale a much needed boost by raising the level of a certain brain chemical called serotonin — believed to regulate our mood, anxiety and social functioning. Oh, and less sunlight means your body generates lower levels of vitamin D — essential for good health and a subsequent happy mindset. Therefore it’s important to look for ways in which you can increase your exposure to sunshine. To help your body get plenty of sunlight, save up for a winter-sun holiday and spend as much time outdoors as you can.