Have you ever noticed that the during a particularly bad weather day, your mood takes a turn for the worse? Does the weather affect your memory?
As the clouds thunder through the sky and rain pours down the street, do you feel your mood growing darker and darker? Have you ever felt particularly happy on a bright sunny day? Like you were in a very light mood and that nothing could go wrong?
Well, not only have there been studies that have shown that the weather affects one’s mood, but there have also been studies that have shown that weather, beyond affecting one’s mood, even affects memory. Wild!
The Link Between Weather and Memory
In a study done in Australia, researcher Joseph Forgas and his team found that people remembered better during bad weather or when they were not in the best moods. When it is gray and gloomy, you experience a drop in your mood and as a result are more likely to focus deeper on the things around you. You become more sensitive to your environment, and more specifically, are able to remember things better. On the other hand, when you are happy or in a good mood, your mind is less focused and more scattered, according to Forgas.
Fascinating. The more you think about it, the more sense it makes. It is always easier to remember bad days than good days because your mind focuses so particularly on the negative events of those particular days. The weather has the power to somber one’s mood and in turn manipulates you into focusing more on your surroundings, mimicking that same effect of focus that appears when you are having a bad day.
Another study showed that hot weather worsened memory in people who have multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the insulating myelin sheaths around the axons of a neuron deteriorate. This deterioration hurts the ability of neurons to send electrical signals and thus disrupts communication in the brain. Heat is a veritable enemy in this situation because it slows down the already damaged nerve communications, and memory is one of the functions that is further disrupted.
Perhaps we should always have bad weather so that we can use our brains to the fullest potential possible…or maybe not. We would probably go crazy if the weather was dark and cold all the time. However, remember to take advantage of this nifty tip the next time it’s bad weather and get some serious studying done!
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