In the pursuit of sunshine


Sunshine peeping through the trees in my neighbourhood park.

The sun is finally shining and the bleakness has given way to an azure blue sky which makes me once again appreciate what a powerful force weather remains in our everyday existence. Of all the aspects of nature, perhaps the one that is the most intimately tied to our mood is sunshine.

Weather influences our psychology in a myriad ways. In fact, all those wonderful metaphors that describe our changeable minds can be ascribed to weather. Moods can be uplifting or sagging, dispositions could be bright and sometimes, even futures can come under a cloud while relationships can turn stormy. Like the weather, our emotions are capable of causing havoc in our lives by turning unstable, enveloping and uncontrollable. If you thought grey weather brings about sober, grey-flannelled thinking, you are probably right.

Over the past two weeks, I have felt this much more strongly than ever. While the mercury dipped and impatience reached an all-time high, I realised that the constant wet and humid weather did make me more tired and irritable. I couldn’t deny it had affected me rather badly. In spite of having lived through the chilly climes of some of the coldest cities of the world, I have never quite got used to it. This kind of weather affects me just the same and I find staying at home unbearable.  I confess, I am one among the many who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) who report lower satisfaction with our lives, and there is never any getting used to, no matter where we are. We just need the sun, that’s it.

It is common knowledge that sunlight produces vitamin D, promoting the brain’s production of serotonin, which lifts our mood, and has been proven to be a very effective treatment for people affected with SAD. Studies show that beneficial effects of warm and sunny conditions on mood can best be felt if one spent more than 30 minutes outdoors that day. And a change in our mood almost always has a marked effect on our behaviour. When we are happy, we not only feel more favourably disposed to one another but more helpful as well. This is perhaps what prompted me to venture out this morning, to get some sunshine.

Sunlight has the power to boost positive moods, alleviate negative emotions and eliminate fatigue. But to reap in those wonderful benefits, one has to leave the confines of the four walls and go outside. Else, even good weather can have negative impacts on the mood, especially for those who are confined indoors, but perhaps gazing enviously outside at the fun they are missing out on.

Someone has wisely said: “If you wish to reap the psychological benefits of good weather, go outside.” It is now a little over an hour while I have been sitting and typing on my keyboard. I can’t wait to hit the publish button and breeze out again.

Do you, like me, feel that cold, wet and humid weather conditions make you depressed and low? How does one lift one’s mood and how does one cope? If you are reading this, please do leave a little note to share your thoughts and experiences. That sure will brighten up my day 🙂

Linking this to Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings

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6 thoughts

  1. The effects of London weather are getting to me now, the wet grey winters have started and yes my mood does swing with the changes 😉

    1. I can totally relate to that as I have lived in the UK for almost a decade and know those long dreadful winters. Keeping busy with activities is possibly the only way out, I guess 🙂

  2. I can talk about the gloominess due to winter for hours. I am a outdoor person who wants to spend most of the time outside home. Winter is making me getting locked up here and I am damn frustrated with this weather.God knows how I would take it when it snows. I have literally scratched my head and pulled my hear in depression last winter.:(. Nice post .Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you so much, Rashmi! I can imagine the extreme weather must be driving you up the wall. Many of my friends who live in the US have the same problem so I can see why you feel so frustrated. I too love being outdoors and find it very depressing to stay holed up at home just because the weather won’t allow. Would love to know what you are doing to cope with the gloominess on a daily basis 🙂

  3. Oh yes wet and gloomy weather makes me sad and cranky..I like it when the sun is out…I can’t take long stretches of wet weather..It is too disturbing!

    1. The sun came and went off again (this time for five days, says the weatherman!) Totally understand how you feel…! Glad we get more sun than folks on the other side of the world who live through a long and gloomy winter 🙂

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