Light from the sun is not only an aid to ensure we complete daily tasks but it is a resource that can improve our health and well-being. Sunlight is used for unanimous reasons. For most people, sunlight is the daily flashlight that helps us see where we are going and what we are doing. For others, it is a source of energy that changes our physical appearance with that tan we so anxiously wait for every year or you may have heard its rays can be harmful to your skin. Regardless, there are many benefits to allowing the sun’s light touch your skin. According to Medline Plus , sunlight and darkness trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Serotonin, a hormone that is associated with improving a person’s mood, is increased when a person has exposure to sunlight. This ultimately provides a person with more energy and provokes a calming sensation over a person’s brain. In contrast, dark light is said to release a hormone called melatonin, a hormone that is known for inducing the onset of sleep. Low levels of both hormones are associated with depression and other mental disorders. In addition to improving specific hormone levels that fight depression, stress, and anxiety, exposure to sunlight increases the production of Vitamin D, which is vital in regulating the consumption of calcium and normal immune system functionality. This makes our bones stronger and helps fight off viruses like COVID-19. Vitamin D also helps with weight loss and has also been associated with preventing cancer. While sunlight can be harmful to a person’s skin if too much exposure persists, Medline Plus suggests sunlight is linked to improving irregular skin conditions. Overall, sun can improve our well-being and ultimately promotes healthy solutions to maintaining a healthy brain and body. Even during the winter months, take some time and walk around your neighborhood, you won’t regret spending quality time in the sun!
To learn more about ways you can improve your mental health, register today for Minds Matter Harrisburg which is set to kick-off on January 23, 2021.