Anyone else feel like their day is a much happier and productive one when the sun is shining and the skies are blue?
The doom and gloom in January and February alike, dark heavy skies. The short days and the cold wet weather is not the most enticing nor up-lifting. It is proven through extensive studies, so do not worry guys it’s not just our imagination that we are down in the dumps. It's fact that we are emotionally affected by pressure systems and the weather.
However, as ever in my case when I look closer into a topic of interest I learned so much and so now I want to share some with you all.
The relative behaviours that we jump to blame on the weather systems varies on climates across the world. Studies in the US have found a relationship between high temperatures and aggressive behaviour; all sorts of crimes (violence, robbery and more) are most commonly reported on hot days. These statistics are even proven across Europe, when violent crime rates are compared across the states and districts in France, Spain and many others including the States there is a very significant difference. Southern regions (report much higher temperatures) have a much higher rate of violent crime rates and a much lower rate of non-violent crime rates when compared with Northern. These study findings are proof of negative behavioural afflictions with heat. What the findings do not help with, are WHY this happens and the conclusions from the collections of studies suggested simply that in the cold darker days people are far less inclined to go outside and that really hot temperatures make people very agitated. So you can see where the pattern begins…
I also here just touch the surface on the research conducted in the past into these suggestions…there are many interesting articles to read more into these findings. Equally yes I have just proclaimed that the violent crime rates go up generally when temperatures are highest, however domestic violence is highest in the dark cold weather.
The hours of sunshine, temperature and humidity are the general factors that we most commonly associate with ‘Seasonal Affected Disorder’. These have the greatest effects on our moods, memories and levels of concentration. Some proven findings are:
Humidity; High levels lower concentration and increase sleepiness
Hours of Sunshine; Increases Optimism
Temperature; Rising temperatures lower anxiety. Higher temperatures, with higher barometric pressure results in better moods, better memory and it ‘broadens cognitive initiative’. In short, we are happier, more productive and creative when the weather is kinder.
There are so many factors that we could argue are affected, however we would be here for days if I was to explain them all… but I have found all of these really interesting and the fact that it is scientifically proven, makes me feel relaxed about the fact that on a cold dark day I just don’t feel motivated. It’s not just me.
In the UK we are pushed for the warmer days, and even a glimpse of the sun at all is very rare and likely to have positive impact on most. The weather certainly has an effect on my motivation in the fitness element too. An early start yoga, or run or even a workout is so tough when its freezing cold. But in the sunshine – well lets' be honest, it’s a completely different story.
So on the dark rainy days of the year, what can we do?
Turn on the lights!
Go for a walk! Although this seems counter productive, because it's going towards the element that has made you feel grotty in the first place. But even when dark, exposure to the open skies does provide some UV which will have positive impact and boost mood levels.
Exercise is essential in making us feel more positive and driven. The dark gloom will be the toughest time to get yourself moving (I am sure you’ve noticed the difference in the summer).
So I am here to help guys, while the days are still shorter and the weather so unpredictable…lets work together to get motivated. Why wait until the sun shines? Because when the sun comes to play, so will we…