So far everyone thought that in winter we were much more unhappy. But so is reality. Low temperatures. Grey skies. Bad weather. The lack of sunlight and weather conditions seemed reason enough for our mood to be gray and apathetic as well.
But it does not have to be like that. Not only are there ways to increase your energy and positivism in winter. There are also scientific studies that tell us that there is more of legend than reality in this that winter always brings sadness.
The big question that scientists ask themselves over and over again: does time affect our mood? And is it possible to be as happy in winter as we are at other times of the year?
In winter we are more active than in summer
Many people have the impression that in winter it gives them a tremendous downfall, they are more drowsy than usual and find it hard to gather energy to do anything, however small. But a recent study has just arrived at. The opposite conclusion: that during the winter we are more awake and we have more capacity to make decisions and that heat, on the other hand, lethargic and makes it more difficult to think.
Everything is related to our ability to regulate the temperature of our body. When the ambient temperature is too high or too low, our body uses energy (in the form of glucose) to maintain our body temperature. Either we shake, or we sweat, trying in this way not to suffer hypothermia or a heat stroke. But the two processes do not require the same amount of effort. It turns out that chilling the body requires more energy than heating it.
In short, at high temperatures our body depletes its resources, large amounts of glucose. A material that also needs our brains to maintain mental processes. The physical demand to cope with excess heat reduces our cognitive ability and affects our ability to make decisions.
That summer is the favorite majority station in the winter is relatively new. In the last fifty years he has more fans because there are vacations. But it is no coincidence that the holidays are in this time and not in winter. Precisely because we are less productive in summer, we get more sleep, is the ideal time to take some time off.
It is not the only study that has come to the conclusion that it is high temperatures that depress and not winter. Research by Jaap JA Denissen, Ligaya Butalid, Lars Penke and Marcel AG Van Aken from the Universities of Utrech, Berlin and Edinburgh concluded that it was the high temperatures that actually produce a downturn and Not the cold as we have always thought.
Winter is not the most depressing season
According to the researchers, contrary to what we thought, spring is the most depressing season of the year.
For example, a study conducted in the UK concluded That workers performing their jobs abroad tended to commit suicides more in the spring than in the winter.
Another meta-analysis carried out in 2012 also concluded that both the northern and southern hemispheres followed the same pattern: suicides increased in the summer season of the hemisphere and declined in winter and fall.
And further research in Sweden , Which studied the suicide figures from the 1920s to the present, also reached the same conclusion.
It gives the impression that winter has a badly deserved reputation.
And there is even more chance of increasing our happiness in winter.
1.- Making the Most of Vitamin D
When our skin is exposed to UVB rays the body produces vitamin D, which is proven to help improve our mood. But it is assumed that in winter the sun’s rays are not strong enough to increase that Vitamin D production.
But in addition sunlight helps boost serotonin levels in the brain, a neurotransmitter that affects mood. When serotonin levels drop, mood swings can occur and this is partly to blame for what the Anglo-Saxons call Winter Blues and we “seasonal down”, which sounds a lot less nostalgic and romantic but is more real.
The first thing the experts recommend is to ask your doctor to do a blood test to see if you have deficiencies in that sense and if there is any way to increase it with a supplement.
2.- Pack up everything you can
Other animals may take advantage of this season to hibernate, but we do not have to do this exactly. In fact, winter is a great season to socialize and increase your mood. And it is not the first that we talk about the importance of surrounding us with friends and people who want us to improve our levels of happiness.
Instead of locking ourselves at home until spring, it is preferable to lock yourself in with your company. Winter is the ideal time to start a course of something or a reading club.
3.- Look for the comfort of warm clothing
Yes, there will be days that you feel like the Michelin doll, but sheltering yourself is an amazing trick to be much happier this time of year. Our body needs to draw a lot of energy to cope with the cold outside, but if we leave properly sheltered from home we will be saving all that effort and investing in happiness.
4.- Do not stop doing sports
When you feel that stalactites of the nose are hanging from your nose and you go to bed at night, after finishing eating, it is difficult to find motivation to go to the gym or to play sports, but it is important not to leave it: “exercise can give you the push you need, And give you a bump”, says Patricia Laguna, a professor at California State University.