According to the definition, stress is our body’s reaction to a challenging situation.
The challenges can range from a horrible experience, such being physically abused, to a less horrible experience, such as asking someone out for a date. Regardless of the challenge, it seems we can't avoid becoming stressed.
However, there is a way we can fight it. Naturally. All we need to do is step outside in the sun.
Sunlight Helps Us Feel Happy
Sun does amazing things for our bodies. First, it helps us produce serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical our body makes which causes us to feel in a "good mood." Researchers have found that the more sunlight we are exposed to, the more serotonin our brains produce. (Baker Heart Research Institute)
Sunlight Helps Our Sleep
Believe it or not, soaking in some rays for at least 15 minutes a day, especially in the morning, may also help us sleep better. Being in the sun helps our bodies turn off a chemical called melatonin, something our body produces to make us feel sleepy. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, spending time each day in the sun may enable us to produce a more stable night time and day time clock so we'll have less trouble sleeping when the sun goes down.
Being Outside with Plants also Helps Ease Stress
The sun is not the only thing outside that can help us feel happier. Plants can, too. Plants produce something called phytoncides. Phytoncides are chemicals that plants and trees release into the air for protection from insects and rot. These chemicals, which linger in the air causing us to breathe them in, also happen to reduce stress. (European Journal of Applied Physiology, March 2011)
So if you're feeling stressed out, lighten up!
Go outside and take a walk among the plants and the sun. You might be surprised to find that as the sun rises, so does your mood.