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Good Question: How Does Weather Affect Our Mood?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When 2-and-a-half-year-old Jack from Deerwood, Minn. heard it was going to snow almost a foot on April 16, he yelled, “Noooooo!” and slapped his fork on the table. This response went on for a good minute.

“The funny thing is I’ve had people 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-years older reacting the same way,” said WCCO Meteorologist Chris Shaffer, who wasn’t all that surprised at the reaction to his forecast. “I just can’t get away with acting like that on television, but he can. It’s cute for him.”

Dr. Cheryl Bemel, a psychologist with Allina Health, wasn’t surprised either. She says weather can certainly impact our mood.

“We’re due for this. We’ve earned it, we’ve waited and when we don’t feel we get what we feel we deserve, it’s a great disappointment,” Bemel said.

One 2008 study found that if you’re in a good mood, weather doesn’t bring you down all that much. But, according to a small but significant result, bad weather can make bad moods worse.

“It also depends on how others around us portray the weather,” she said. “The accuracy is really correcting our thoughts, because the correct thought is that it’s going to get better.”

Dr. Bemel says that effect of weather is different for different people. And unlike the weather, she says we can control how we deal with our feelings.

She advises people to continue get outside, don’t hibernate and remember – it will be in the 70s soon.

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