BRING ME SUNSHINE | Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern.

Another Rainy Summer’s Day

It’s hard to look out of the window at the pouring rain and not get a little bit down.  After all, we really deserve a good summer, don’t we?  And the children had hardly broken up from school before it started to rain, and then it never stopped.  It’s only good news if you want to buy garden furniture, because everybody seems to be reducing it!

In many novels, the weather reflects what the characters are feeling at that point.  Rain means misery and claustrophobic oppression.  A storm reflects stormy goings on in the lives of the heroes and heroines, like the lightening that tears apart the tree the night before Jane Eyre’s wedding to Rochester.

Appeasing the Volcano

BringmesunshineThis started me thinking about how much the weather influences our mood and how we behave. As I started looking for some more evidence about this, I came across news of the Tenggerese, an indigenous population in East Java, appeasing the mountain gods with gifts.  The ceremony, called Yadnya Kasada, is believed to keep them safe from the active volcano, Mount Bromo.


It seems our long held reverence for nature and the forces that control our planet are deeply held and translate into the way we live our lives everyday in the 21st century, just as they would have in older times.

New German Study

A new study by Jaap Denissen of Humboldt University in Berlin has looked into the influence the weather has on our moods and behaviour.  The study involved 1,233 participants, with an average age of 28.  They were mainly women aged 13 to 68 years old.

Reported in the October 2013 issue of the journal “Emotion”, the study consisted of an online diary and various personality tests combined with daily weather data.  The results were fascinating.

Weather and Our Moods

Temperature, wind and sunlight were found to have an effect on negative mood, and sunshine on how tired people were.  Wind had more of a negative effect on mood in Spring and Summer.

Sunlight had a mitigating effect on whether people reported they were tired on days when it rained, and although the responses were very varied, there was evidence for Seasonally Affective Disorder.

How we can boost our mood

The study has interesting implications for depression, and further research in this area would be interesting.  What we can do, of course, to boost our mood whatever the weather, is practice deep relaxation and self hypnosis.  Don’t forget, in hypnosis, the weather can be anything you’d like it to be!  Just try it now……………..get a sense of sitting beside a clear blue sea, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, watching tiny white fluffy clouds skipping across the bright blue sky in the light breeze……………..

Bet you’re feeling better already, even if it’s still raining outside!

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather”.  John Ruskin

September 2014

Blog written by Rebecca Welch


karen reynolds (20 Posts)