Since I moved to Hamburg, the main struggle I had was to find something positive about the cold and rainy weather. I still remember the horrible first month there, when the Sun forgot to shine. I was depressed and tired all the time and I wanted badly to go back home, not because I didn’t like the place or the people but because I just couldn’t find anything positive about the weather.
After almost two years, with only 2 months of sunny weather, I finally found something positive about being cold, and I would like to share it with you.
On one of the cold and dark Sundays, in Hamburg, I stumbled upon the new research field in marketing centers on “embodied cognition”—the idea that without our conscious awareness, our bodily sensations help determine the decisions we make. In this research I discovered for the first time something positive about being cold.
It seems that people who had briefly held a warm beverage were more likely than people who had held a cold one to think that a stranger was friendly, meaning you are more likely to be fooled when the sun is shining; this was demonstrated in an experiment by Lawrence E. Williams, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and John A. Bargh, of Yale. Warm ambient temperatures also prompted people to conform (Yes man) so if you are going for a negotiation you might want to schedule the meeting based on the weather.
Other studies suggest that warm temperatures and sunny weather also have an effect on our spending habits. During sunny days we feel more optimistic, and so we end up spending much more than what we can afford. Maybe that is why in Germany, people save more and spend less.
So it seems that being cold and dark actually helps you make better economic decisions. But it also affects your mood and your health because it leads to a vitamin D deficiency.
The main take away from this could be that it’s much safer for your wallet and the environment if you shop, especially for expensive things, during rainy, cold days, and use the sunny days for going out and increasing your vitamin D level, which reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), is a powerful antioxidant and plays a crucial part in our health.
How much do you spend on a rainy day?