Why We Need Sunlight To Be Happy

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 HOW TO HANDLE DARKER FALL DAYS

It arrives like clockwork every year: as the days get shorter and more overcast, our moods get gloomier in turn. We need sunlight to feel energized and joyful – so how do we make do in the darker fall and winter months? With Daylight Saving Time ending before we know it, here’s what you need to know about your craving for sunshine.

We need sunlight to thrive.

We need sunlight to thrive.


Sunlight has a far-reaching impact on human well-being. Sunlight helps maintain our metabolism, keeps our immune system in check, and makes it easier to stick to healthy sleep routines. Of course, sunlight also majorly affects our moods. Research has linked sunlight to serotonin, a brain chemical that releases happy and calm feelings.

Without enough sunlight, you might not feel like yourself.

Without enough sunlight, you might not feel like yourself.


Many people suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), a type of depression impacted by the change of the seasons. Others might suffer from a milder version of SAD symptoms known as the winter blues.

In the throes of SAD, dark winter skies can lead to feelings of hopelessness and sadness. You might feel more tired than usual or lack the motivation to do things you usually love. You may also experience changes in your weight, or feel a sense of guilt or emptiness.

Fight your winter funk by getting as much light as you can.

Fight your winter funk by getting as much light as you can.


If those symptoms sound like you, your first move is to make sure your home and your workspace let in as much natural light as possible. Keep curtains open and spend time near windows in well-lit parts of your home.

Once that’s squared away, you’ll want to give yourself an extra dose of light with the help of a light therapy lamp. These lamps can mimic the effects and benefits of natural sunlight.

Sit in front of the lamp each morning for anywhere from 20-45 minutes, and before you know it, you just might feel like you’re spending each morning basking in summer rays.

 

Then, get out and get moving.

Then, get out and get moving.


Next, it’s time to ditch the myth that you can’t enjoy the outdoors when it’s cold out. You might not be able to laze by the pool, but what about a brisk morning walk through your neighborhood? If it’s warm enough, try to roll up your sleeves and expose as much of your skin to the light as possible for maximum mood effects. (Your body literally needs to soak up the sun’s joy!) Consider leaving your sunglasses at home as well. Make sure to bundle up appropriately and check the temperature to make sure it’s safe to head out.

Another powerful way to reduce SAD symptoms is good old-fashioned exercise. At least 30 minutes a day of breaking a sweat can release endorphins and other energizing brain chemicals to help you feel more content and more alert. If you can combine this exercise with your time outdoors, even better!

 

Remember: winter won’t last forever.

Remember: winter won’t last forever.


If you’re having a tough time and these remedies just aren’t doing it for you, talk to your doctor or a therapist who can help you sort through what you’re feeling. And remember this: no matter how hard it gets, spring will come back. Sunnier days are never too far away.

 

Carry your own crystal of sunshine with Happiness, carnelian, orange calcite, nephrite jade, and clear quartz. It’s believed to encourage an aura of openness, and it’s a great choice for anyone who would like to attract more positive into their world.

 

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