Do you yearn for blue skies laced with wispy clouds, a warm breeze brushing your hair and rays of sunshine beaming down? Do buckets of rainfall and grey days dampen your enthusiasm? If so, then you may be a SAD sufferer.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 29% of us Brits. According to research, SAD can cause lethargy during the day, a low mood, irritability, feelings of despair, difficulty waking up, carbohydrates cravings and weight gain. And to add to this, grey days mean we have to rely on artificial light sources such as fluorescent tubes which trigger hyperactivity in the brain.
But once the sun pays a visit, SAD suffers are immediately uplifted. In fact sunshine makes us all feel happier and brighter. Our posture improves, we open windows, spend more time in the open air, in parks or by water and our diet changes to fresher choices. Fashion has a makeover, colours more vivid and there is definitely a spring in our step.
Gone are stressed expressions. There are more smiles on the high street and along the supermarket aisles. Smiling releases endorphins which combat stress hormones. A smile creates an eye crinkle, known as a “Duchenne smile”. This causes the cardiovascular system to calm. When we laugh we are forced to exhale, lowering our heart rate so we feel better instantly.
If you are a SAD sufferer natural sunlight is the most effective cure but in its absence there are alternatives:
Buy a SAD lamp which prompts the release of serotonin
Do things that make you feel good.
Sprinkle happiness into your life with more smiles and laughter
Laptops and mobiles occupy most of our time and remove us from our real surroundings. Set them aside. Take time for a walk in the garden or park. Appreciate the sounds of nature.
We often don’t appreciate the small experiences that create our routine.
Live in the now to enjoy moments of pleasure. Slow down your over-active mind.
Be positive. What goes on in our head and how we choose to perceive the world shapes are own reality so focus on the good, colourful areas of your life, rather than the grey, dark gloomier side.
Enjoy today, enjoy now, even if the sun is not shining. Don’t leave it too far in the future
Sunshine is synonymous with holidays and days without the usual routine of daily chores, why not book one?
For more ideas on healthy living, click here