How Staying In The Sun Can Make You happy?
Sunshine makes us happier as it lifts our mood and lowers the anxiety.
Spending time in the sun not only gives us Vitamin D, but also makes us feel better. Yeah, there is a strong link between happiness and sunshine. Sunshine enhances the mood; minimizes depression; helps feel satisfied and improves sleep patterns. And all these things lead to happiness. Here’s how…
Sunshine Boosts Our Serotonin Level:
Serotonin is a feel-good hormone produced by the human body. An increased level of serotonin leads to a better mood, overall joy, inner satisfaction and reduced anxiety.
Luckily, sunshine boosts this feel-good hormone as your brain is exposed to the light. For example, a person is likely to have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during winters when there is little to no sunshine. According to one study, nearly 20% of Americans have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) each winter, experiencing anxiety, fatigue and in some cases, depression, as sunlight is not available.
We feel good and uplifted whenever we experience sunshine during or after gloomy winters. This is why most physicians prescribe a special light box designed to “trigger” serotonin releases and minimize anxiety releasing hormones to a depression patient.
Therefore, Sunshine=Increased Serotonin Level=Happiness
Sunlight Minimizes Surgery Pain and Stress:
According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, sunlight can be effective in minimizing stress and pain medication used by a surgery patient. The study has also found that even indirect exposure to the sun through a window can alleviate the mood.
Exposure to darkness, i.e. during the nights, releases the hormone called melatonin which makes us feel sleepy. A frequent exposure to sunlight can help our body balances its circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle to maintain biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes and lets you feel tired when it’s dark outside.
For example, going outside for 10-15 minutes at the same time daily, particularly in the morning, conveys the message to the body that it’s a nighttime no more. In simple words, light tells the brain that it is time to wake up. When we wake up at the time, we don’t have trouble falling asleep at the time.
A better sleep leads to better mood and high spirit which in turn translates into happiness.
It’s Trademark Vitamin D Helps Us Fight Depression:
According to many researchers, there is a link between a low level of vitamin D and depression. Vitamin D is an essential brain nutrient throughout all stages of life. It protects our “grey matter” from cognitive decline as we age. Many studies have established that vitamin D is useful for mood, memory, and other cognitive abilities. Lower vitamin D level can lead to mental disorders like depression, dementia, and schizophrenia. Apart from that, vitamin D helps your body fight cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, blood pressure and osteoporosis. And our body produces vitamin D only when we get sunlight.
Sunlight Can Minimize Cancer Risks:
Several studies have shown that vitamin D or sunshine vitamin can give protection against kidney, colon, and breast cancer. It is also associated with bone health and overall mortality. The deficiency of vitamin D can trigger several neurological, cardiovascular and immune diseases. By exposing yourself to sunlight, you can minimize the risk for these diseases. Vitamin D integrated with other treatments may also improve the patient’s condition.
So you must have understood how spending time in the sun can boost your happiness. Being in the sun is shown to make you healthier not just emotionally, but physically as well.
But Beware of Sunburn…
However, you should take sunlight in moderation as the excessive sun can burn your skin. The symptoms of sunburn are rashes, redness, and peeling of the skin which look different than the surrounding skin areas. The signs of sunburn are visible in less than 15 minutes in the sun, and in seconds when exposed to the intense UV rays. Once you are exposed to the sun, the skin may turn red in 30 minutes but usually, it takes 2 to 6 hours to experience redness. You can experience pain 6 to 48 hours after exposure. For the next 1 to 3 days, the occurrence of the burn is coupled with peeling. In some cases, peeling and itching may persist for several weeks. Severe sunburn signs require you medical attention.
Make sure to follow the precautions while enjoying the sun.
- In summers, the ideal time to stay exposed to sunlight is 30 minutes, between 11 am and 2 pm, thrice a week.
- Wear SPF 30 sunscreen to create a protective barrier between your skin and sunrays.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses and light-colored clothing to prevent the sun when out for longer periods.
- Re-apply sunscreen every two hours and every time after swimming.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
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