Does waking up to blue skies and sunshine every day make you happier
It’s amazing what a sunny day like today can do for your mood isn’t it?
As the temperature rises so does our happiness.
Not for everyone of course.
Some people don’t like the warm weather would you believe?
But a lot of us Brits feel brighter and perkier when basking in the warm sunshine especially if its on an Easter weekend and we don’t have to go to work.
Others take this idea even further in their minds.
They tell themselves that if only every day was like this I would be so much happier.
And I’ll admit, you can’t fault the logic of the thinking there.
If one or two warm sunny days lifts my mood then waking up every morning to blues skies and the sun shining would do the same thing every single day.
It would be wonderful.
I’d be so much happier.
All these predictions make sense and feel seductively true.
It’s just that they are not.
They are yet another example of how inept we are when it comes to predicting what will make us happier.
A similar phenomenon was studied in the US with Americans that had moved from a colder State to California in the expectation that the sunshine would elevate their happiness to previously unrecognisable levels.
But that’s not what happened at all.
It turns out that after a few months of waking up to blue skies and sunshine you kind of get used to it.
The novelty and indeed the happiness wears off.
This is a process that psychologists call adaptation.
It refers to the fact that our attention over time is directed away from one area and towards other areas.
So you probably would be happier in a sunnier climate initially at least anyway.
Then as time goes on you will begin to pay less and less attention to the weather.
You will go into autopilot where we spend most of our lives anyway.
The brain loves novelty and if the sun is shining pretty much every day, novelty will fade away fairly quickly.
And as it does you will revert back to your previous levels of happiness.
Rather annoyingly your happiness will reset itself
So rather bizarrely, a few sunny days at Easter or a warm British summer can indeed raise your happiness and more so than sun 365 days a year.
So grab the sunscreen and flip flops and pay as much attention to the novelty of that big bright thing in the sky as you can.
It will be gone again soon enough….