There's no doubt that the worst of winter has arrived, bringing sub-zero temperatures and icy winds along with it. The dark, frigid days make it tough to stay positive as we slog through our daily commutes and count down each hour of the workweek until we can return to snuggling up on the couch at home with loved ones and Netflix.
However, once a beautiful bout of snow is added to this wintry mix, we often find our feelings of bitterness transform into ones of pure, unadulterated joy. It seems to wipe the slate of our world clean, rejuvenating our personal perspectives at the same time. Whether you choose to play in the snowfall or appreciate it through a frosty window, there's no denying that the beautiful snowflakes make you pause and take notice of their arrival.
See snow in your upcoming weather forecast? Here are eight reasons why you should prep for a boost of happiness along with the icy precipitation.
It inspires our sense of wonder.
"Snow brings change, newness and a fresh take on the world," wrote psychologist and HuffPost blogger Sandi Mann. "Travel is disrupted, meetings are cancelled and schools close early. This change to the daily grind refreshes our jaded minds as we see the world, literally, in a different way. It makes us take a step back from the routine and take time for once, to smell the coffee (and build a snowman)."
It gives off calm, relaxing vibes.
"Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity," wrote author Novala Takemoto. Even in our most stressful moments, a fresh snowfall maintains an almost supernatural power to calm us down -- mind, body and soul.
It links us to childhood memories.
"Snow is the most natural substance (other, perhaps than sand) that is associated with childhood, and so many of us find hard to resist reverting back to happier, more carefree days," wrote Mann in her HuffPost blog. "A phenomenon called emotional memory means that associated with our memories are emotions -- so that when we remember events, we also remember the emotions associated with them. Many of us have happy childhood memories of playing in the snow, so when we see those fat, fluffy flakes twirling from the sky, these memories kick in and we feel happy."
It gives us fun games and treats.
Let's not overlook the obvious: these days are the few where snowmen, snow angels, snow forts, snowball fights, and snow cream are a given. You don't have to sit back and live vicariously through all the neighborhood kids out on the streets having a blast -- pick up a fistful of snow and join them!
It brings us into present moment.
"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem." - William Hamilton Gibson
There's nothing like being the first to leave footprints in a fresh layer of snow to connect you with your surroundings. Taking a deep breath of the cool air, noticing how the scent of it has changed and allowing your vision to be consumed by the clean scene of white makes any other thought or worry effortlessly fall away, leaving you with just your body and the snow.
It brings people together.
Few can deny the snuggle power of snow! After a long day of sledding and snowball fights, there's nothing better than cozying up on the couch with a special someone -- and yes, that can mean your beloved pet, too. The toasty fireplace and mug of hot cocoa are optional. In the end, the company you keep is what makes it so magical.
It reminds us of the beauty in nature.
While rain tends to leave our surroundings in a fog of soggy gray, it's frozen counterpart illuminates them, creating idyllic winter wonderlands in their place. The vast white space and dusted evergreen trees have the amazing ability to leave us feeling enchanted to the point where we simply can't take our eyes off the landscape before us. We notice every little detail, from the first bird to leave its nest to the first breeze to knock limbs free of their icy cocoons.
Its time is limited.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of snow's existence is that it's fleeting. Temperatures rise, the ground starts to thaw, and the former world we once knew beneath that blanket of white is revealed once again, creating yet another new beginning for us to appreciate among the natural elements.