Sunglasses, your signal to happy.
Let your sunglasses be your signal to go out in the sun and get your happy on.
Does sun really make you happier? Is a dose of sunshine enough to lift spirits, particularly in this stressful day and age? According to scientists, the answer is yes. Exposure to sunlight releases serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is the brain chemical that’s most linked to a person’s mood. Higher the levels of serotonin are directly connected with better mood and feelings of calmness. No matter how hot or cold the weather. It’s not just the brain making you happy in sun, your skin has a role to play as well. Vitamin D, sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin”, is produced in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. A systematic review found evidence to suggest that vitamin D deficiency is linked to causing people to feel depressed or negative about our lives.
The role of serotonin and vitamin D in increasing happiness is not new news for most people but can be easily forgotten when stress feels never-ending, personal or family issues keep popping up, and the world seems to be getting scarier. We forget that a walk in the sun before work, even if it’s only 15 minutes, has the power to frame your mindset into a positive space before starting the day. Or that spending time in the sun, even its just sitting on the lawn or outside in a café with friends, has the power to not necessarily wipe away the week’s crazy, but at least put an optimistic slant on the rollercoaster that is life.
To help me remember that sunshine is a simple (and free) life hack to get my happy on, I leave my sunglasses on my bedside table. Now here’s the important bit – they sit ON TOP OF my mobile phone. Each morning, sunglasses are the first thing I see, and if it’s sunny outside, I’m prompted to jump out of bed, throw on some walking clothes and go for a walk. Sometimes it might only be 15 minutes, and others might be 45 minutes. Just depends what is going on for the day. But it’s 1000x better than spending 15+ minutes looking at my phone before getting out of bed, which is what I used to do. Now, my skin looks better, and people are starting to comment that I seem more relaxed and happier.
To establish new habits, it helps to have a trigger that acts as a reminder. Let sunglasses be your signal to get your happy on. Worth a try.