How Warm Weather Improves Mental Health

How Warm Weather Improves Mental Health

You have probably heard that the heat can damage your mental health. But is that true?

How can a good day’s worth of sun and sand impact our moods? We talked to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, a pain management specialist at the Rhythm & Movement Therapy Center, who has conducted his research on this topic — he found that sunshine and warm weather in general boosts moods significantly.

Here’s what else he had to say: “Warm temperature increases levels of endorphins in your brain which leads to natural euphoria. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is depression associated with shortening of daylight hours that can be treated with light therapy or antidepressants. The brain releases endorphins in the presence of sunlight and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter associated with positive mood.”

Other health benefits of warm weather

Dr. Sudberg also notes that warm weather can boost your physical health if you use sunscreen and don’t overdo it. “Outside temperature influences your body’s temperature on the inside,” he says, “and if you are too cold or hot, it strains the body. Plus, sunlight is directly linked to vitamin D production in your skin, which helps regulate mood.”

How to get the most happiness from warm weather

How can you take advantage of this free therapy? Dr. Sudberg suggests a few ways: “Just spending time outside in fresh air can be therapeutic.

Before you pack up your winter sweaters and move to a tropical island, Dr. Sudberg advises some caution. He says people who live in places with a more drastic change in seasons should follow their doctor’s advice when handling seasonal changes. Even though warm temperatures can lift spirits, it’s also important to remember that extreme heat has physical health risks. He recommends: “It is vital to stay hydrated and keep your body out of the sun, wear a hat and sunglasses. The best way to stay cool is through walking, jogging, swimming, or jumping in a pool.”

Dr. Sudberg says that if you have a mental illness or take antidepressants, going outside in extreme temperatures can be especially dangerous. He advises people to stay hydrated, limit their time outdoors, and closely monitor the weather reports. If you know you’re at risk of getting overheated or dehydrated, he recommends staying indoors all together during the hottest parts of the day.

He also recommends that people who live in warmer climates limit their time outdoors during the hottest parts of the day and keep themselves hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

And if you’re taking medication: “Double check with your psychiatrist or pharmacist before going to a warm destination,” he says. Antidepressants, in particular, can make people more sensitive to the sun, even if they don’t necessarily increase your chances of getting a sunburn.
Overall, Dr. Jordan Sudberg says that warm weather makes people happier because of its benefits to physical health. He summarizes: “When it is hot, we are happy because our bodies are at peak performance. Our skin looks great when it’s warm. Our hearts beat faster when our body temperature increases, giving us more oxygen.”

Correlation Between Weather and Mood

Deigo Ruiz Duran may make the claim that the weather is going to have an impact on the moods of most people. The term “mood” is referring to a feeling or a state of mind. This is temporary mind frames or temporary emotions. There have been studies surrounding weather and moods. In the year 2008, one study had discovered that good weather conditions tend to elevate the emotions of a person who is in a bad mood. Science and research has shown that the weather has a powerful impact on the way individuals are momentary. A study, conducted in the year 2008, had revealed that pleasant weather tends to give the mood a positive boost. There are some various psychological disorders that are directly related to the weather. A lack of daily sunshine can induce feelings of depression.

Gaining Insights: Seasonal Affective Disorder

He may have some insights, to offer, about a psychological disorder which is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This can be viewed as a certain type of depression. This depression will come and it will go with the current season of weather. There are approximately 20 percent of confirmed cases of this type of depression. There is a seasonal pattern that tends to begin in the fall season and can last all through the winter months. There is often a remission of SAD, that comes with the spring awakening or season. The National Institute of Mental Health has claimed that depression and SAD are not viewed as separate disorders. This is because people tend to experience the same depression symptoms on a seasonal basis when they have a SAD diagnosis. Younger individuals and those with a history of depression, within their family, tend to be prone to the disorder known as SAD. This disorder is brought on by the weather conditions.

The Average Person and Weather Conditions

Deigo Ruiz Duran holds the belief that the average person does not need to be diagnosed with SAD in order to have their mood be impacted by the weather conditions. Rain can actually affect the mood of the average person. A good downpour, of rainy weather, can increase agitation levels in nearly nine percent of the average population. Hot and extremely humid weather conditions may raise anger and agitation levels. Some researchers watch social media and have noticed that the posts, of some individuals, tend to become very negative when the outside weather is dreary and dark. Clinical psychologists have noticed that feelings of sadness tend to rise with some gloomy weather conditions. Self esteem can be lowered, for some people, when it is dark and rainy outside. Many people will notice, their moods can be elevated on those days when the sun suddenly comes out. When the weather is nice, it tends to stimulate positive images and thoughts:

* gatherings with others

* fun outside activities

The pleasant weather can enhance your mood because many people have fond ideas and memories associated with nicer weather conditions. Often cloudy and dreary weather conditions tend to give some people feelings of disappointment. This may include cancelled plans or various other types of disappointments from the past.