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22 June 2009

Weather and Psychology

If you’ve been following the US Open, you’re likely as frustrated with the rain as all of us living in the area are. It has rained almost every day of June in New Jersey. And I don’t mean a short shower; I mean raining cats and dogs for hours, upon hours, upon hours…

I’ve been joking with people that my spirit is damaged. Could 18 some odd days of rain and temperatures well below seasonal really do that?

I asked Google and it seems that the connection between weather and psychology has been debated for years. There are studies concluding that weather does impact mood and emotions and others that indicate the opposite.

I conclude that weather does impact my spirit. Three weeks of rain has knocked my energy level down several notches, my normally optimistic nature has been gloomy, and I’m generally feeling grumpy! The upside is I’m not alone.

My own informal research would also conclude that weather not only impacts our general state of being but the activities we engage in. The owner of the coffee shop around the corner told me business has been slower than usual because of the weather, I went to an event on Saturday night where the organizer concluded that about half of the people expected were no shows due to the torrential down pours and the local weekend farm market was a huddle of vendors with no one to sell to on a rainy Sunday.

Back when I was selling real estate I remember my business, as well as my mood being impacted by weather. There was nothing worse than getting almost to the point of writing an offer with buyers and a snow storm hitting. After we dug out of the snow, the buyers were ready to start looking again. As if the snow storm had magically produced more listings that they had to see before making that offer we had discussed before the storm.

The same outcome happened during those summer heat waves of sun and humidity. The urgency to make the final decision just seemed to disappear.

I’ve never experienced this much rain in my life, but in talking with some agents in the area they’ve added the rain to their list of challenges in selling real estate in today’s market.

I hope the sun is shining in your area of the country and if you have any advice for overcoming psychology and weather, please pass it along. It would be greatly appreciated.

3 thoughts on “Weather and Psychology

  1. Wendy,

    Getting used to the rain is a tough thing to do. Prior to moving to Vancouver in ’91, my Uncle said “it only rains three times a year in Vancouver, once for 60 days, once for 45 and once for 30” – which proved to be an understatement most years.

    Light therapy helps some, for others it’s an espresso or two (Starbucks thrives on the Wet Coast) and for many, a quick trip to Maui, California or Vegas every few weeks is a requirement!

  2. There are people with diagnosable conditions for this as well. Everyone gets a little sad when it rains, but there are some that actually have trouble functioning without sunlight. I am one of them. Several days of gray and rain sap all of my energy. There are those that are trying to fix it though, like having glasses that you wear that only let in higher wavelengths to try to influence your mind into thinking that its sunny when all you are really doing is filtering the light in the room properly.

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