Not always loved, even the rain is beautiful and often has the unusual power to relax our senses and our mind.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: December 02, 2021
Not always loved, too rain is beautiful and often has the unusual power of relaxing our senses and our mind.
It intoxicates us with its petricore, renews the atmosphere, brings out flashes of color in our boring cities and often invites us to that serene, almost magical introspection that allows us to get in touch with ourselves through raindrops.
Although it is often said that "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain", it is clear that not everyone likes it.
The mood is always closely related to the weather, and more specifically to the effect of light interacting with our brain.
"The sound of rain needs no translation"
However, rain ignites a series of singular processes in a large part of the population which are related to the emotional world.
It is closely linked to the senses, especially to the olfactory cortex and to the almost magical link that this structure has with the limbic system and the hypothalamus, areas linked to emotional memory.
The petricore and the awakening of memories
There are smells that awaken a strange pleasure in us. They fascinate us and at the same time penetrate our memory like an enclave that awakens pleasant sensations in us.
The smell of freshly cut grass, clean sheets, the chlorine of the swimming pool in summer, the chocolate our grandmothers made for us or the smell of new pencils they are smells that mix with affection.
Among all these fragrances there is one that surpasses them all: petricore. It is described as the most intoxicating smell in the world.
The smell of rain soaked in earth has a very specific function: to guide us towards the water. An essential aspect for humans in the past, and today for most animals, who travel great distances guided only by that chemical substance, geosmin.
Unfortunately, today pollution leaves many of us orphans of this vital gift of Nature. A gift that, strangely, also has the power to "wake us up", to shake us from our lethargy and the cubicles of our routine to simply invite us to relax with a walk after the rain.
What exactly is petricore?
"Petricore" is a term coined in 1964 by two Australian geologists. It refers to a fascinating and delicate process which occurs when raindrops come into contact with sedimentary or porous surfaces.
Instantly, a species of actinomycetes generates a metabolic substance called geosmin, which returns to the atmosphere as an aromatic oil with a unique odor.
It is interesting to note that the drier the soil, the more intense the petricore will be, which rises like a powerful spray that will guide birds and other animals into that wetland.
The human being, on the other hand, does not need to find water, therefore we'll just open the windows to take a deep breath of that smell, while we let ourselves be embraced by memories, by the thin veil of nostalgia and by the caress of undisciplined emotions. All this will invite us for a walk after the rain.
Rain is beautiful: its relaxing effect
Most of us love sunny days, when the heat warms the skin and the mind appreciates the light. We know that brightness has always been linked to positive connotations, while the clouds and that leaden darkness that usually accompanies rain are viewed with fear, discomfort and negativity.
It all depends on the relationship between melatonin and serotonin. Sunlight improves neurotransmission and mood thanks to the natural increase in serotonin.
The rain not only wets it, it also dyes the sky with the rainbow.
However, rain has different effects on people depending on your personality. The more introspective profiles, for example, tend to enjoy those moments of meditation more, when they lean their head against the window to see how the cities are dressed in unique shades, similar to an impressionist canvas.
The sound of rain
In turn, and as a curious fact, the most anxious people can find sensory rest through rain. The sound of falling drops generates white noise, that constant sound and soothing sound waves that are therapeutic for many.
A research study argues that the sound stimulus of rain reduces the agitation of the elderly in nursing homes. Not only does that regular volume soothe the restlessness, it also opens the door to many memories.
Let those moments lived with the smell of childhood pass into our consciences, with the almost wild scent of that summer storm under which we ran after an afternoon at the fair or a night at the sea.
Even the rain is beautiful and, as curious as it may seem, it is even curative: it relieves and invites us to reconcile with the land we walk on.