How The Weather Affects Your Mood & Your Personality, According To A New Study

Ad failed to load

A wise author by the name of B.J. Neblett once said, “We are the sum total of our experiences.” Of course, there will always be debate over the influence of nature versus nurture, but the undeniable truth is that what we’re exposed to in the early stages of life can and will strongly impact the development of our personalities, in more ways than we realize. In fact, according to a new study that researched how the weather affects your mood and your personality, it turns out the average temperature of your hometown could be very telling in terms of whether you are more introverted or extroverted.    

The research, which comes from the journal Nature, focused on the behavioral traits of more than 1.5 million people living in both the United States and China, and how their personalities aligned with the average temperature of their hometown. From these observations, it was concluded that those who grew up in environments that were recorded as too hot or too cold were more likely to identify as introverted, while those who lived in areas where the average temperature reached a more mild 72 degrees Fahrenheit were more extroverted.  

Aside from this one study, there's plenty of research supporting the idea that the weather can affect your mood.

Ad failed to load

For me, as far as seasons go, fall and spring are my favorites. As far as I'm concerned, nothing beats a crisp autumn afternoon when it’s just cool enough to snuggle in an oversized sweater without shivering, or a sunny spring morning with a slight breeze blowing against my favorite denim jacket. In life, comfort is key, and what the weather is like outside can absolutely affect how you're feeling on any given day.

The weather can affect not only how you’re feeling on a daily basis, but also your overall mental health. For example, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a “type of depression that’s related to changing seasons.” Those who suffer from SAD generally show symptoms like low energy and a loss of interest in social activities at the start of winter, and tend to feel better once spring has sprung.

Of course, while SAD is a real, diagnosable form of depression, most of us can relate to the downer that wintertime can often be. I know myself, and once autumnal temps plummet below 50 degrees, I get super lethargic and would much rather hibernate under the blankets with my husband, kitty, and a Netflix marathon than throw on something pretty and grab a drink with my girlfriends. When the last snow of the season has melted and springtime is in full bloom, however, that's a different story.

Ad failed to load

For most of us, warm temperatures improve our mood, which might be because warmth is said to have an antidepressant effect. Christopher Lowry, PhD, associate professor of integrative physiology and a member of the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, told Psychology Today that "spring fever" is seen when our skin becomes warmer, and pleasant stimulation is activated in our brain. In other words, the better the weather conditions, the better we feel mentally and physically.

But even though the weather can affect your mood and your personality, it doesn't completely define who you are as a person.

Ad failed to load

Let me just say that, for the record, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert. As long as you can honestly say you’re happy in your lifestyle and that, despite your preference of pets to people, you still make time for your friends and family on occasion, then do you, girl. However, if you are someone who tends to be on the shyer side of the spectrum and are interested in branching out, you absolutely can change your mindset to meet your goal.

While I can agree with the concept of weather affecting mood and how we enjoy spending our free time, people change with their surroundings. Ergo, just because you may have grown up in Alaska spending the majority of your days inside than out, doesn't mean you can't move to Los Angeles and become more active outside the homestead.

That's not to say that moving someplace sunnier is the key to happiness. There's definitely more to your mood than how much sunshine you're soaking in. But the weather of your hometown doesn't automatically determine who you are and who you will be for the rest of your life. Personally, I'm a strong believer that if you change your mind, you can change your mood, so if you're feeling particularly adventurous, take the plunge! But if you're feeling a Friday night in with a bowl of popcorn and movies instead, that's fine, too.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

This New Snapchat Feature Is Going To Make Your Stories Look Even Better

Giphy is officially taking over social media, and I'm not upset about it. After invading Instagram stories with funny animated stickers, the company partnered with Snapchat — and now, we're finally able to fill our Snaps with hilarious GIFs. In other…
By Amanda Fama

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Luckily, It's All Good Things

Pat yourself on the back because you survived not only one but two major eclipses. The last few weeks have been one obstacle after another but you made it. You dealt with the pain, held it together, and prevailed. Now, your February 19, 2018 weekly h…
By Roya Backlund

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

I Tried Vegan "Spacepaste" & It Looks Like Straight-Up LED Lights On Your Face

As you might have noticed, 2018 is the year for glitter. So many brands have been releasing shining, shimmering formulations like they're going out of style. We're not even halfway through February, and Lemonhead LA has already launched the best glit…
By Kim Carpluk

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Everyone Is So Thirsty Over This “Photo” Of Obama With Facial Hair

It's been a hot minute since President Barack Obama left the Oval office (though it feels like ages), and a lot of us miss him dearly. After leaving the White House, the 44th president remained out of the public eye for a little while, decompressing …
By Daniella Bondar

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas