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Why Sunshine Is The Key To Mental Health

Now that Daylight Saving Time is over, it’s getting darker earlier, which can be pretty depressing for most people. Couple that with the weather getting colder and there are bound to be folks in a pretty depressed mood.

Well, regardless of how chilly it may be outside, folks should probably bundle themselves up and get out there because researchers have found that sunshine is the key to good mental health so getting outdoors, even in the winter, is incredibly important.

A new study published in the “Journal of Effective Disorders” followed data on 16,452 patients being treated at the BYU Counseling and Psychological Services Center and found that sunlight is a major factor when it comes to mood. When patients are getting enough sun, emotions remain stable, but when it’s reduced, their emotional distress increases. And it has nothing to do with how warm it is out, with weather factors like temperature, pollution and rain having no significant impact, so if you think a rainy day is getting you down, it’s not the rain that’s doing it.

Sun, or lack of it, can be a reason folks suffer from seasonal affective disorder, since studies have shown that the brain produces more of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin on sunny days, as opposed to darker ones. Plus, lower vitamin D levels can be blamed on lack of sun, and that’s been linked to depression and lower energy.

So, basically, if the season has got you down, put on a parka and get whatever sun you can. It’s likely to make you feel a whole lot better.

Source: The Huffington Post

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