Does the sun make you happy?
Does the sun make us happy? My feeling says it does, but what are the Facts and Figures?
There has been a lot of research about the negative effects of the sun. What kind of radiation is dangerous for us?
The kinds of radiation that we “feel” are IR (Infrared) and UV (Ultraviolet). I’ll explain the 2 different radiations:
IR light gives us a warm feeling. Our body has certain nerve-ends that make us feel the IR light warming up our body. The infrared light that is radiated from the sun isn’t damaging our body because the amount is too low. You would experience IR as burning will it be damaging, e.g. the light of a laser.
UV light can be divided into 3 categories:
– UV-A. This part of UV light is the cause of skin aging, wrinkling and can cause skin cancer. Because the ozone layer of the earth does not filter this kind of UV, it is always radiating your body when you are in the sun. This light causes you to get a tan. However a tan does not protect you from this light, it only lowers the amount of light penetrating your skin)
– UV-B. This light is causing us sunburns and can cause skin cancer. It is partially blocked by our ozone layer, but even the smaller amount of radiation is still very dangerous for our skin. However UV-B is responsible for vitamin D production.
– UV-C. This is the most dangerous type of UV light. Luckily our ozone-layer protects us from this light by blocking it.
Fact: 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year!
It is clear that the sun can do a lot of harm, but what are the positive results of sunlight?
- First off: your body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is responsible for neuronal growth and has a positive effect on your mood. It also regulated the levels of calcium and phosphorus in our blood. Without this crucial vitamin, our bones can become thin and brittle. Your body regulates the amounts of vitamin D and automatically shuts off production if you get to 100% of need.
– The second positive effect is that our body produces endorphins by receiving sunlight. When endorphin is released in our body it will give us an experience of pleasure and a sense of satisfaction. Endorphin is also blocking the sense of pain.
So sunlight IS directly affecting our feelings in a positive way.
– The third positive effect of sunlight is that our body produces yet another product know as serotonin. This is a chemical that’s been mainly used in anti-depressives. The effect of this chemical is that it keeps our mood and energy levels higher and it is giving us a feeling of happiness and joy.
Of course the sun also radiates light. Light is used symbolic for positivity and happiness.
Next to that I have a lot of positive emotions and memories connected to the sun. If I think about the sun I think about the beach, holidays, happy moments etc. All these thoughts make me feel happy!
To conclude the Facts and Figures of today:
Does the sun make us happy? Yes!
Not only does it affects us by physical processes but also mentally. As long as people don’t expose their selves too much to sunlight, they’ll only benefit from it!
It might become a long winter so every ray of sunlight is valuable. Go get them!