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Good Day Sunshine

Research has shown that sunshine can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. Let's discuss the numerous benefits of sunshine on mental wellbeing.

I don’t know about you, but The Beatles seem to take over and I sing it!
Sunshine has long been known for its ability to lift our spirits and improve our mood. There's something about the warmth of the sun on our skin and the brightness of the day that can instantly make us feel better. 

Reduced Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Sunshine exposure triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates our mood and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that people who are exposed to more sunshine have lower rates of depression and anxiety. Additionally, research has suggested that sunlight exposure can improve the efficacy of antidepressant medication, making it a useful tool for those struggling with mental health issues.

Increased Energy and Motivation

Exposure to sunlight can also help to increase our energy and motivation levels. Sunlight exposure helps to regulate our circadian rhythms, which are responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycles. When our circadian rhythms are functioning correctly, we feel more alert and energized during the day, and we sleep better at night. Sunlight exposure can also increase our levels of vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and muscles and improving our overall physical wellbeing.

Improved Cognitive Function

Sunshine exposure has also been linked to improved cognitive function. Studies have shown that people who are exposed to more sunlight have better memory, attention, and processing speed. Additionally, sunlight exposure has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults, potentially lowering the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep

Sunshine exposure can also help to reduce our levels of stress and improve our sleep quality. Exposure to sunlight triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that helps to regulate our stress response. When our cortisol levels are balanced, we feel less stressed and more relaxed. Additionally, sunlight exposure can help to regulate our sleep-wake cycles, which is essential for maintaining healthy sleep patterns and improving our overall mental wellbeing.

To wrap it all up: Sunshine can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. From reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety to increasing energy and motivation, the benefits of sunshine on mental health are numerous. However, it is essential to remember to protect our skin from overexposure to the sun's harmful rays, which can increase the risk of skin cancer. So, get outside and enjoy the
sunshine, but remember to wear sunscreen and take other precautions to protect your skin.

Heidi R. McClain, NP Nurse Practitioner

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