Do you feel happier during the summer months? Enjoying the warm weather, taking some time off work and spending quality time with friends or family are activities that everyone looks forward to. We could plan the same fun activities during the winter and still take far less pleasure in them. How are summer months making us happier?

Measuring the connection between the weather and our happiness is not easy. First of all, the perceived notion of happiness varies a lot from one individual to another. Secondly, there are many other factors that influence happiness and weather alone might not be enough to change one’s mood.

A study was carried out by Dutch psychologists in 2011 to find out whether or not there was a connection between the weather and the mood of the subjects. The subjects were asked to rate their current mood on a scale on several occasions over the course of 17 months. Meteorological data for these days were compared with the moods of the subjects but the results were not conclusive since there were no obvious connections.

It is however undeniable that the first rays of sunshine make us feel happy after a long winter. A lot of people also notice that they tend to get depressed when the weather is cold and rainy. Studies have shown that a lack of exposure to natural sun light can caused a Vitamin D deficiency, which increases the risks of developing a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Scientists do not fully understand Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some people seem more sensitive to it and any decrease in their exposure to natural sun light causes their internal clock to adopt different sleeping patterns. Their levels of serotonin and melatonin hormones drop and they experience feelings of hopelessness, and sometimes even depression.

The idea that summer months make us happier could be caused by the fact that in comparison, winter months seem depressing. People who are sensitive to Seasonal Affective Disorder feel happier when they summer months start since their mood was negatively impacted during the winter due to a lack of natural sun light.

Even though there have been no conclusive studies on how summer moods make us happier, you should not question your happiness if you find warm weather uplifting. You should however talk to your doctor if you think you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter.