A look inside why spring is so refreshing


Jenny Sogin

CHEMISTRY. When spring arrives, the warmth of the sun decreases melatonin making people more active, and the presence of green makes people feel relaxed.

For many crawling out of a cold, dreary Minnesota winter, spring is a time that brings hope, motivation, and refreshment. People begin to exercise more, work harder, and stay outside to enjoy the weather instead of holing up and watching Netflix. But, what makes spring such a welcoming season?

Biologically, the increased amount of sun and heat exposure drastically improves one’s mood and fosters hopeful feelings throughout the day. According to Dr. Anthony Scioli, a professor of clinical psychology, the Northern Hemisphere gains about 20% of light at the mark of the first day of spring, the vernal equinox. This increased light exposure causes the brain to produce more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that, when released, makes people feel really happy. Scioli has also found that many springtime activities such as exercising, gardening, and farming, have been found to increase serotonin production and improve moods.

This increased light exposure causes the brain to produce more serotonin…[which] makes people feel really happy”

According to Dr. Norman Rosenthal, the state director of seasonal studies at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, longer stretches of sunlight and heat reduce our secretion of melatonin, which is the hormone that makes people feel tired. Humans become synched to the schedule of the sun, producing melatonin when it becomes dark so that they become sleepy. With longer stretches of sunlight, people switch to having more energy for longer periods of time.

The emerging colors of spring also trigger an overall positive response. According to International Color Expert Kate Smith, when a person is in the presence of green, their pituitary glands are stimulated. This ultimately makes the person more relaxed. By being surrounded by the color green, people become calmer and their stress is relieved. Psychologically, humans tend to associate green with vitality, freshness, balance, health, and youth.

Spring is a welcome breath of fresh air, especially for those who spend half the year in white, barren winters. While the environment becomes greener and greener, be sure to get outside and revel in the positive response that bodies have to spring.