The Benefits of Sunshine on Your Mental Health

by Pari Aryafar


We've still got a bit of summertime left before our days begin to shorten. Since we have an abundance of sunlight now, make the most of it! There's many ways that going outside can boost your mental health, beyond your daily dose of Vitamin D.


1. Sunshine boosts your serotonin

Our favorite feel-good hormone is triggered by sunlight through our eyes, which is why in the summer you may feel more positive and energetic than in the colder months. Feeling sad or simply in a bad mood? Take a walk in the daytime and watch how your feelings change.


2. You'll sleep better later

Just the way that serotonin is activated by the sunshine, melatonin, the helpful sleep hormone, is activated by darkness. Getting a good balance during your day helps to regulate your cycle and makes it easier to fall asleep.


3. Decrease your stress

Many of us work indoors and are subjected to a barrage of emails and phone calls throughout the day. Going outside, moving your body a little, and being exposed to sunlight can help lower your stress and simply make you feel better.


4. Build your bones up

Vitamin D is your friend and the easiest way to get it is through sun exposure. You can kickstart the hormone with only twenty minutes or less outside on your face, arms, and hands. This helps your bone growth and calcium absorption.


As with anything, there is always the need for balance - if you're going to be outside in the sun for long periods of time, definitely cover up, wear protection, and make sure to stay hydrated. Sun burns and sun poisoning is no joke! However, spending thirty minutes every day under the sunlight has shown to have many positive mental, emotional, and physical effects for the body. When you're feeling down, take a walk outside and you'll feel the sunshine coaxing the feel-good hormones out of your body.

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