Did you know that watching sunset is actually beneficial for your mental AND physical health?
Nope, I’m not pulling your arm! There are multiple studies and research that all support incorporating sunsets into your daily life. As a photographer in Costa Rica, I’m lucky enough to watch and photograph Costa Rica’s magical sunsets every night. And after first hand experience chasing sunsets in Costa Rica for almost six years(!!), I totally agree with the research that supports watching sunsets is good for your health!
And what's even better is that this week I've compiled five reasons why sunsets are good for your health according to the smarty pants doctors. You ready for this? Let's talk about sunsets!
5 Reasons Why Sunsets Are Good for Your Health
1. Watching sunset helps you appreciate life. “According to research by psychological scientists of Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Minnesota Carlson School of Management, the studies found that jaw-dropping moments [like breathtaking sunsets] made participants feel like they had more time available and helped them more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer time to help others.” (Source)
2. Watching sunset helps you feel more energized. “Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.” – Richard Ryan, Ph.D (Source)
3. Watching the sun pass over the horizon (sungazing) helps you feel better. Research shows sungazing stimulates the pineal gland as the direct sunlight hits the eye, moves through retinal-hypothalamic tract, and then hits the brain. This stimulates the pineal gland, also known as the “master gland”. This boosts the secretion of melatonin and serotonin, our “feel-good” hormones. (Source)
4. Watching sunset helps slow down your perception of time. By witnessing the beauty and awe of the sunset, you can slow down your perception of time. According to research, participants who felt awe — defined as “the emotion that arises when one encounters something so strikingly vast that it provokes a need to update one’s mental schemas.” (Source)
5. Watching sunset helps you feel more satisfied with life. “One study found that greater engagement with beauty was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, gratitude and a spiritual outlook. The association was strongest for engagement with natural beauty. There’s a natural tendency to stop and stare at a breathtaking sunset. When you do so, you’re likely to be caught up in the moment, and your mind gets a break from fretting over the past or worrying about the future.” (Source)
So feel free to show your boss this research as your hall pass to take a quick break from work to watch sunset! OK, maybe your boss wouldn’t be too thrilled with this idea, BUT just because you can’t watch sunset as often as you like, how about the next best thing – – a breathtaking sunset image!
**Blog post originally published 6/15/18 in collaboration with Kait atCommuniKait. Updated 2021.**
P u r a V i d a,
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