Why Does The Weather Have Such An Effect On Our Mood?
If only we could always be ‘as cool as a cucumber’, as the idiom suggests ‘being very calm, and in control of your emotions’. But in the hot weather being as cool as a cucumber can be hard. Small things that normally would not bother us, seem to get our tempers flared, and every small task seems to be a big effort. Especially ironing, okay that’s my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it.
But hot weather seems to have two effects, it either makes us really happy enabling us to ditch our jeans and jumpers and dust off our summer dresses, that we haven’t had the chance to wear. But for those of us that are not used to the hot weather it can be just too much particularly older people who cannot regulate their temperature as well, and of course animals who are best kept indoors in a cool place when it’s hot.
If you work in an office, you are only benefiting from the air-conditioning, and looking out at the sunshine, makes you wish you weren’t working, that’s if you have a window of course. So clearly it depends on what we are doing when the hot weather strikes, being on holiday and sat around a pool is what the majority of people like to be doing when it’s hot. But do we not strive for the perfect temperature?
In essence, we as humans have basic needs, we like to be just the right temperature, eat just the right amount of food and have comfort in our home. If our basic needs are not satisfied then we are unhappy, as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs represented.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was a motivational theory in psychology, a pyramid of what people’s motivations were, and when all the needs from one tier were met, they could move up the tier. The first tier at the bottom of the pyramid would be a person’s physiological needs, such as food, water warmth and rest, and these are things fundamental to life. Which is why when you watch survival programs, the motivation to get food, and build a shelter are paramount to their mood and wellbeing and of course their survival, they also don’t have a libido, since those basic needs have not been met.
But in modern day society in the western world, we often have these basic needs met. However, they still are present with us all the time and kick in when we need them.
How many people do you know that talk about the weather, on a daily basis? its too hot, too cold, and I have the misfortune of falling into that category at times. Hairdressers and shop assistants do well to have a forecast next to them, so they don’t have to talk about the weather all the time.
Of course, when I talk about the weather in this sense, I am not talking about the catastrophic events that the weather can bring, such as tornados and droughts, and flooding, and fires, which of course has a negative effect on our mood, when our survival mode kicks in. But with more erratic weather patterns in recent years, maybe that has made people more anxious about the weather, and so makes them want to talk about it more.
However, talking about the weather does have its benefits. It can be a great icebreaker and can break awkward silences. It’s particularly useful to gauge a person’s mood, and of course knowing the weather can help you plan events around it and can be important when you are planning outside activities and trips away. The hot weather also brings with it a healthy dose of vitamin D which makes us feel good and keeps us topped up to take us through the winter months.
When it’s hot, wearing suncream and wearing a hat and staying hydrated are the most important things to remember. But if you are feeling the heat, see some of my favourite ways you can keep cool in the summer in the list below:
10 Ways to Stay Cool in the Summer
- Wear Light Clothes to reflect the light, and cover your head with a light coloured hat.
- Place some ice in a cup and breath into the cup for a quick DIY cool air blast
- Freeze a couple of ice bottles in front of a fan to benefit from cool air blasts
- Use a desk fan at your desk (try not to fan yourself, as this will generate more energy making you hotter).
- Practice deep breathing to lower your heart rate and keep you calm without sweating
- Walk slower, rushing around will only make you hotter, so walk and do tasks slower if you can
- Open doors and windows, to allow air to circulate in rooms
- Make up some peppermint tea and store in the fridge, the peppermint has known cooling properties, as does chrysanthemum tea which is thought to lower body temperature. I like Teapigs Peppermint tea because they use the whole peppermint leaf.
- Apply aloe vera gel, or make your own aloe vera cooling spray.
- Close curtains and wear loose clothing around the house, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
So whether you like the hot weather, or prefer it colder one thing is for certain, even though for some people when it’s hot, it too hot, and when its cold its too cold, it does enable us to have a bit of a grumble, because of course, it’s the weather’s fault.
Does the weather bother you? please share your tips with me on how you stay cool in the summer?