Have you ever notice that being out in the sunshine makes us happier both emotionally and physically ?
Happiness, sunshine and our health
Any of you that are tuned in with mental health may have heard of serotonin and melatonin..
The correlation of light and mood is dependent on the body’s natural response to produce serotonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which helps to elevate our mood and melatonin which is a hormone that helps us to sleep. When the body recognizes sunlight in our optic nerve the gland in the brain which produces our melatonin slows down its function and our serotonin levels increase dramatically!
Vitamin D and sunshine
I’m sure you heard that vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin! The sun gives us the vitamin D we need which can be extremely hard to get from our nutrition alone. Vitamin D promotes good mental health and mood as well as healthy bone function, reduction of inflammation in our body and helps to stimulate our immune system. Ireland has a crucial vitamin D problem and in a recent study an osteoporosis specialist found at 75% of people test has insufficient vitamin D levels. One likely cause of this is Ireland doesn’t get as much sunshine as other countries, which could in turn be impacting the mood and mental health of young people in Ireland! So while the sun is still shining make sure to safely soak up some vitamin D outdoors.
Seasonal effective disorder
Have you ever noticed when the days get shorter and the dark evenings begin to creep in your mood starts to slowly diminish?
SAD or seasonal effective disorder is a type of depression that’s related to changes in the seasons. It usually begins and ends at the same time every year. If you are like most people with SAD your symptoms will start in autumn and continue into the winter months. It can zap your energy and make you a little moody. Sometimes it not just the winter blues so make sure to take steps to your mood and motivation steady throughout the year and get as much sunlight as you can which it’s still there.
We often here about the risks of the sunshine and while it’s true that sunburns and skin cancer are real threats and that our SPF is essential, there are positive effects of sunshine exposure too. Soaking up some sunshine increases our vitamin D, improves our mood, aids higher quality sleep and lowers blood pressure.
The sun can be our best friend for our well being and I for one know that this sunny weather that we are having this week in Ireland is doing wonders for my mind and mood.
Enjoy the beautiful sunshine while it lasts.
Love and light,