The Psychological Reasons Behind Our Love For Fall

Turns out, there’s actually a science behind your excitement for fall.

By Nicole Dominique2 min read
fall girl

Who doesn’t love autumn? Even before the leaves morph from green to bright red, most of us are already at T.J. Maxx buying pumpkin decor and scented candles. You can’t argue that the anticipation for fall is evident each year on social media. But besides the coziness of sweaters (thanks to the cool, fresh air), seasonal drinks, and Halloween, there’s actually a science behind our love for the harvest season. So, if the weather finally permits, grab a blanket and read on.

Cold Temperature Creates Alertness

This might surprise you, but colder temperatures actually help you to become more alert. Research in the past has shown that more people were inclined to act during the cooler seasons compared to summertime. When it’s hot outside, the brain uses up more glucose in order to cool our bodies down. The boost in energy could explain why so many of us are eager for autumn.

Fall Has a “Fresh Start” Effect 

Our minds see the upcoming fall season as a “fresh start” in the same way we see the new year as new beginnings. “Temporal landmarks divide life into distinct mental phases. They allow us to put in the past negative experiences and propel a fresh outlook,” shared Yasmine Saad, a licensed clinical psychologist. Just like the times when our bodies and minds would prepare for school, many of us might start other projects or plan for career goals.

Fall Brings Comfort and Coziness

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t buy at least one sweater every year. According to Saad, the pressure of “looking good” drops once bikini season ends, allowing many of us to feel comfortable in our own bodies. “Depending on where you live, fall usually means the end of swimsuit season. People tend to feel more comfortable about their bodies and appearance in the fall because they're wearing more or bulkier clothing,” Saad added. “There's less body shame and pressure to diet in order to maintain a picture-perfect, beach-ready body.”

Dressing warmer, drinking coffee, and cuddling under blankets bring a feeling of safety and comfort.

As the temperature drops, a lot of us seek comfort by dressing warmer, drinking coffee, and cuddling under blankets. This brings a feeling of safety and comfort, alleviating many of our worries and concerns. 

We’re Conditioned To Be Excited

Kathryn Lively, a professor at Dartmouth College, believes many of us have been conditioned to be excited about the fall season. “As children, we come to associate fall with going back to school, new school supplies, seeing friends. It’s exciting, for most. We still respond to this pattern that we experienced for 18 years,” she tells the Huffington Post. I have to say that for me, this is definitely true. My classmates were the highlight of my school days when I was still a young girl. I was always excited to go back to class so I could show off my new school supplies and clothes. 

Besides school, let’s not forget about our parents post-summer, who often had a contagious excitement for fall. Each year, moms decorate their houses, make hot chocolate, and prepare creative costumes for Halloween. To boot, parents would often get us thrilled for the holidays, and it seems the exhilaration has followed us in our adult lives!

Closing Thoughts

Just like summer, fall has a tendency to escape us rather quickly when we take life for granted. So, make sure to really take in and enjoy the comfort autumn brings in the next couple of months to come!

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