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Sunshine is a great natural remedy to nurture mental health

Harold Mandel's picture
Enjoying the sunshine

According to researchers sunshine has a great impact on your mental and emotional health.


It seems to those of us who love the outdoors that sunshine gives us a natural high. Actually sunshine really has been found to help nurture mental health.

Sunshine is vitally important to mental health

Brigham Young University reports that a psychologist, physicist and statistician collaborated on an interesting study which shows that sunshine is vitally important to mental health. In fact sunshine turns out to be a lot more important for mental health than pollution, temperature, and rain.

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The amount of time which lapses between sunrise and sunset is the variable in the weather that matters the most when it comes to a consideration of your mental and emotional health. Although there may be terrible air pollution, oppressively hot weather, and even rain-clouds, all of this will not necessarily make you feel down and out

If you don't get any sunshine your levels of distress are likely to become extensive

If you can get enough sunshine in between all of this, that should help stabilize your emotional distress levels. However if you don't get any sunshine your levels of distress are likely to become extensive. This phenomenon is seen in the general clinical population, not just people who have been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Mark Beecher, who is a clinical professor and licensed psychologist in BYU Counseling and Psychological Services, says the winter months are a period of high demand for the services of therapists. Because there are less sunshine hours people are highly vulnerable to emotional distress.

This study has been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Researchers have found the best way to account for associations between weather variables and variability in mental health distress is to consider seasonal changes in sun time. With less sun time hours increased mental health distress has been observed. Sunshine appears to be a great natural remedy to help promote mental health.