Can sunlight make you happier? Know the relationship between sunshine and happiness

A sunny day means a sunny mood! Weather, specifically sunlight, has a direct and profound impact on our emotional well-being. Get to know the relationship between sunlight and our happiness!
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Sunlight can be a source of happiness for you. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 19 Jan 2024, 01:30 pm IST
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Have you ever taken notice of the fact that when you wake up to a bright, sunny day, you tend to feel flushed with positive energy? This may be accompanied by a happy mood that helps you go about the day in a better way. Darker days make you feel bleak and monotonous throughout the day. The weather outside can have a deep impact on our daily lives, influencing not just the energy of our physical activities but also our moods. Among those weather elements, sunlight profoundly shapes our emotional well-being. Let us delve deeper into this relationship between sunlight and happiness.

Does sunlight affect your mood?

It is a known fact that sunlight is one of the most effective natural mood enhancers. It triggers the release of serotonin, a natural neurotransmitter that is linked to amplifying feelings of happiness and well-being.

relationship between sunlight and happiness
Soaking in the sunlight is important everyday. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Sunlight helps in producing more vitamin D for our body which nourishes our body and helps regulate mood by warding off feelings of sadness or depression. And, a healthy body makes up for a healthy mind,” emotional intelligence coach Shivam tells Healthshots.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and sunlight

We can particularly notice a shift in our mood on days we witness less to no sunlight. Such a mood shift is commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is a type of depression that happens during some specific times of the year like the fall and winter months when days are shorter. Lack of sunlight during these months disrupts our natural circadian rhythms and a drop in serotonin levels, leaving us feeling more lethargic and sad.

More exposure to sunlight, specifically in the early morning hours, has been linked to high production of melatonin and serotonin levels. Sunlight activates the pineal gland and that helps stabilise our sleep-wake cycle and mood.

“Sunlight improves our sleep quality by regulating our circadian rhythm. Sunlight also helps in increasing serotonin levels which eventually helps us to manage our mood better,” says Shivam.

Also read: Winter can limit sunlight exposure. Here’s how to meet your daily vitamin D needs

Can sunlight make you happier?

Bright days leave us feeling more energetic, positive and motivated. Natural sunlight, when in abundance, lifts our overall sense of well-being. We feel more motivated to step outdoors and indulge in more physical activities that feel more enjoyable.

Sunlight is nature’s best prescription for happiness. In sunlight, we tend to feel more gravitated towards spending more time outdoors, connecting us with nature. Spending more time in green spaces reduces feelings of stress and increases happiness.

Also read: 10 surprising benefits of soaking in sunlight for 15 minutes daily

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relationship between sunlight and happiness
Make sunlight your source of energy! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Be mindful of your sun exposure

While there are a lot of benefits of sunlight, it is also essential to practice mindful sun exposure as sunlight carries along with it the harmful effects of UV radiation. Here are some ways in which you can reduce the risk of excessive sun exposure:

• Try spending shorter periods outdoors. Be in the sun for a while, go back indoors for some time, and get outside again for a brief period.
• Never skip wearing your sunscreen if you wish to protect your skin while basking in the glory of bright sunlight.
• Sit with your back towards the sun so that your face or body doesn’t get tanned or get any skin ailments.

Strike the right balance between getting the best of sunlight, in terms of body and mind, and safeguarding our skin.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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