7 Ways Spring Affects Your Mood

As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.”

Aside from being a master of words, Hemingway also has the benefit of being right about the season’s effect: Spring fever is probably real. If you’ve noticed a little extra something in your step because of the weather, it’s no coincidence. Warmer days have a direct influence on your mood and behavior.

Below are just some of the ways toasty temperatures affect your attitude:

1. Being outdoors in the sun is linked with a mood boost…

The gold standard on this subject is a 2004 University of Michigan study that found people who spent at least 30 minutes outside in pleasant weather — either by taking a trip to warmer climates in the winter months or by taking advantage of a newly warm spring day in the park — had happier moods. And in corroborating research, a 2014 UM study found that being outside could lead to a better mindset and reduced stress.

But if you’re still stuck in the tundra, don’t worry too much. Kelly Rohan, a professor of psychiatric science at the University of Vermont, points out that weather pales in comparison to other stress mitigators, such as the lessening of relationship or work pressures. While warmer weather doesn’t make a sizable difference in outlook, research supports the idea that nice weather has a positive psychological impact on the overall population, she told The Huffington Post.

2. …But it may not be that way later in the summer.

The weather-mood connection is a positive one, up to a point. The original University of Michigan researchers also noted that positive attitudes seemed to wilt in particularly sweltering weather — an idea that’s also supported by other —> Read More