Wellbeing Monthly – Put a spring in back into your step and smile on International Day of Happiness
March 20, 2023 | by Chris Boyd
Today, Monday, 20th March 2023, marks the first day of spring which also coincides with the International Day of Happiness. It’s almost serendipitous. The sun shines brighter and nature starts to bloom. Just by reading that sentence can you feel yourself smile and feel instantly happier?
But just how can the change in the season have an impact on your wellbeing?
Longer daylight hours
Longer hours of daylight trigger the release of serotonin, which is the chemical that makes us feel happy. So, take a step outside, or even stick your head out of the window, and you may find yourself in a better frame of mind because spring has sprung!
The milder temperatures encourage us to get outside more often, whether that be for a walk or to do a bit of gardening.
Getting outside makes us more active and helps us to release feel-good endorphins. These feelings can become addictive and you may find yourself getting outside more and more to experience the feeling.
The body’s internal body clock, which controls the body’s circadian rhythm (the 24-hour cycles of the body), is affected directly by bright light.
We can distinguish night and day easier when the mornings get lighter, which encourages us to have a better routine and, therefore, helps us sleep better.
Sunlight triggers your body to produce vitamin D, which helps keep your bones strong and your muscles healthy.
In winter, when the days are shorter and darker, it isn’t easy to get enough natural sun exposure and maintain healthy vitamin D levels. However, studies show that just 10 minutes outside will give you an adequate daily amount of vitamin D and keep your levels healthy!
Say goodbye to winter blues
Believe it or not, “winter blues” is real and can trigger low moods and affect energy levels, sleep, eating and social behaviour.
However, as soon as we get access to prolonged daylight, fresh air, and time with friends and family outdoors (when restrictions allow), we start to feel the benefits.
So now that spring is in the air, step outside, admire the nature and colours around you and discover the instant relaxation it can bring to you.
Put a spring in your step, and into your smile, and enjoy the season. With it, we hope it brings new hope.
Remember: Be mindful, be grateful, be kind and enjoy the season.
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