The Sun’s Influence on Emotional Wellbeing

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

The sun, a powerful celestial body that illuminates our world, holds a significant influence on our emotional wellbeing. Beyond its physical warmth and radiance, the sun plays a vital role in regulating our moods and emotions. Research has shown a compelling connection between exposure to sunlight and the enhancement of our mental state.

According to Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD, “exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused [1] .” For example, we invite you to review the study made by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH), “Effects of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and nondepressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study [2] ”.

Punctually, some ways the sun impacts our mental and physical health are: Increased Vitamin D; improved mood; higher quality of sleep; stronger bones and lower blood pressure [3] . Additionally, “strong connections have been found between deficiencies in vitamin D and the risk of various mental health disorders [4] ”:

  • Depression: Lower levels of vitamin D in people who have depression -and that vitamin D supplementation (either via sunlight or through food supplements) can reduce rates of depression and improve symptoms.
  • Schizophrenia: Those who suffer from it are more likely to have significantly low vitamin D levels and are more likely to live in parts of the world with less sun exposure.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: SAD can also occur in the summer months, which is called summer-pattern SAD.
  • Eating disorders: The possible benefits of bright light therapy and/or vitamin D supplementation to treat and prevent eating disorders.

Can sunlight help depression? “There is mixed evidence regarding the sun’s effect on depression. Our bodies need direct sunlight exposure to create vitamin D, which plays a major role in regulating mood. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve mood, and many people with depression also have low vitamin D levels, which suggests that there may be a causal link [5] .”

In conclusion, the sun’s influence on our emotional wellbeing cannot be underestimated. Its rays have the power to uplift our spirits, boost our mood, and promote a sense of overall wellbeing. So, what are you waiting for? put on your sunglasses and head out for some vitamin D! Please remember to apply sunscreen and once you are ready, you will receive natural support for your mental wellbeing.







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