The International Day of Happiness was proclaimed for the first time on the 20th of March in 2013 by the United Nations to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal aspirations of human beings. But why in March? Is it because it’s the beginning of spring (for half of the world) and the days are getting sunnier again?
There’s a common conception around the world that sunny, warm weather is linked to happiness. And that cold cloudy weather is linked to sadness. At Nicequest we’re all for the nice way of life and things that make you happy. So we were wondering, how does the weather really affect our mood?
The importance of the sun
In many cultures, the sun was celebrated and worship as the source of life on earth. But sunlight can also simply make you happier! It makes our bodies produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feeling happy!
Now, that doesn’t mean that everybody is constantly sad on cloudy days, but studies have found an interesting connection between weather and sentiment on social media: the number of negative posts on Facebook increases with bad weather.
Being warm makes people nice, sweating in the heat doesn’t
While rainy days can bring you the blues, feeling physically warm has been found to make people more generous and caring. That was the result of a study where researchers compared the behavior of people holding a warm or cold cup of coffee.
On the other hand, hot weather (temperatures above 90ºF / 32ºC) has been found to make people more aggressive or cranky.
So yes, the weather has a proven impact on your mood. However, bear in mind that its impact on your mood it’s going to be greater in any place that experiences long periods of unusual weather. For instance, if it’s hot and sunny for months that’s probably going to make more of an impact in a usually cold place like Sweden than in Greece!
Mild temperatures are ideal for happiness
It’s all about balance. Researchers concluded that the ideal weather for a good mood is temperate weather. Plus, mild winters and cooler summers make it easier to be outdoors all year long.
Our ability to spend time outside is an indirect benefit of the weather which has a real impact on our health and has been associated with lower stress levels and increased well-being. Nicer weather allows people to get outside to exercise and be more in contact with nature!
The grass is always greener on the other side?
On Facebook we asked our Nicequest members in different countries if they preferred living in a place where it’s always hot or cold. These were the results:
70% of our US & UK followers preferred living in a place where it’s always hot