4 Sunny Activities for Summer Stress Relief

4 Sunny Activities for Summer Stress Relief

by Wild Divine

Everyone looks forward to summer outdoor fun, and you may even feel your  energy pick up when you head outside, but it’s not just a summer state of mind.  It has been proven that the sun can improve your mood, increase your energy, and  provide measurable health benefits.

According to Dr. Casey Adams, board-certified alternative health practitioner  and book author, the sun offers up multiple benefits: “The sun delivers heat,  raising core body temperature. Higher core body temperatures facilitate  increased cell function and higher energy. This increases our detoxification and  purification systems. Sun also regulates our natural biorhythm cycles. Boosted  core temperatures increase cortisol levels during the day, ushering more  relaxation and deeper sleep during the night.”

In addition, Dr. Adams, among others, points to the need for vitamin D  production. It has been reported that as many as one in seven adults is vitamin  D deficient; however, vitamin D can be synthesized by exposure to sunlight.  Vitamin D is converted to calcidiol in the liver which is in turn converted to  calcitriol in the kidneys.  Calcitriol regulates the amount of calcium and  phosphate in the bloodstream, which ensures healthy bones and teeth.

So despite the warnings to minimize sun exposure, moderate sun exposure  (including a thorough application of sunscreen) can have tremendous health  benefits. For sun-aided stress relief, here are four suggested activities:

1) Meditate in the meadow – or anywhere outside. If you are  an experienced practitioner, simply find a comfortable place and let the fresh  air breathe new life into your practice. If you are a beginner, simply find a  comfortable seated position. Then close your eyes and take slow deep breaths.  Feel the warmth of the sun and allow it to flow through your body – from the top  of your head to the tip of your toes. Quiet our mind and think only of the  breath and the warmth. Smile.

2) Downward dog in the daylight. Take your yoga mat and find  a nice flat area outside and perform literal sun salutations! Many have found  that a higher body temperature improves their yoga practice. Doesn’t a warrior  pose in the park breathing in fresh air sound like a nice change of pace from  the hot yoga studio?

3) Walk with wonder – take in everything around you. No  matter where you’re heading to – the store, to find lunch on your break, or  nowhere in particular – notice everything you pass. The trees, the flowers, how  the sunlight reflects off the buildings, the birds chirping – just take it all  in. For that moment, think of nothing else but what your senses are delivering  to you at that very second in time. You are truly in the present.

4) Journal your joy. Step outside to write down what makes  you happy, what you are grateful for, why you feel joy.  Removing yourself from  your walled environment – whether it be home or office – can help you let get  past the distractions and away from the sources of stress so you can open up  your mind and heart to feelings of gratitude and contentedness.

Not only will participating in these activities bring your relief in the  daytime, they have also all been proven to help you relax and sleep better at  night. Combined with the boosted core temperatures and increased cortisol levels  achieved by the sun exposure, you should not have any trouble drifting off. And  there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to relieve stress.

Many have observed that moods elevate in the summer – and there is a  scientific explanation. But by proactively harnessing the power of the sun, you  can leverage this phenomenon to even greater benefit. So, put on something cool  and comfortable, lather on the SPF 30, and drink in the summer sunshine. Your  mind and body will reap the rewards.