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Depressed? Head Outside.

August 11, 2016

It’s easy to forget how much the physical environment affects us. It’s easy to take for granted how our surroundings influence our energy levels, our mood, and our mental health. As such, it may be worth this reminder: A little bit of sunshine can go a long way, and put you in a much happier place than you would be otherwise. This is not an old wives’ tale, either. Science confirms it: Even a few minutes spent outside, in sunny weather, can improve your mental wellbeing.

How much time should you be spending outdoors, exactly? Well, the more the better, but all you need is half an hour before you could see results. That’s because new reports reveal that 30 minutes of time spent in the sun can reduce your risk of depression, to say nothing of high blood pressure.

How you spend that time outdoors is up to you. You could go for a walk around your neighborhood. You could go for a jog, a bike ride, or a hike. You could simply lay out in the sun, perhaps with a good book or a picnic lunch in tow.

That’s a pretty minor thing to do for your own health, right? Yet the results can be major. “If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week, there would be 7 percent fewer cases of depression and 9 percent fewer cases of high blood pressure,” says one of the scientists who was involved in this new study.

This is not to say that sunshine is a cure for depression, but it certainly suggests an easy, natural, and healthy way to elevate your mood and potentially stave off illness. Why not add some outside time to your weekly routine? Go out and enjoy some summer sun today!

If you face depression, seek treatment for it today.

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