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Taunting Death: The urge to be outdoors and free
From:
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
Tenafly , NJ
Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Dr. Patrica A. Farrell
 

Who among us doesn't enjoy the sunshine on our face, the feeling of a warm Spring day, and the fresh breezes it brings? Spring is a time of rejuvenation and an affirmation of life.

 

Look at the trees, the flowers, and the small shoots of grass all around us. We are pulled as never before but in this time of a pandemic, the choice is simple; live indoors for now or face potential death by going outside. Simple: life or death. Yet the pull exists and it gets stronger day by day.

 

We know we are in a time of extreme danger brought about by the COVID-19 virus. The struggle within us is increased by two things; our wish to be free outdoors and our biology that pulls us to the sunshine.

 

The Biological Connection

 

Mood is, we believe, a matter of childhood learning and environmental circumstances, but how many of us know that it is also somewhat NOT under our control? You have to learn to control it.

 

Who told you that, in some sense, you are a victim of your biology's whim? I will bet no one ever did.

 

Scientists have researched mood and emotion for over a century now and the conclusions they have drawn are often kept within their community. Unfortunately, it is only a few times that valuable findings are bought to light in an occasional magazine or newspaper article.

 

One of the findings that we need to know is that exercise, the simple movement of our muscles, plays a major role in both our mental health and our immune system. Simply engaging in brisk walking releases the mood-enhancing hormones, endorphins, that lift mood.

 

And what is our body telling us now? No, it's not indicating we should exercise, although that would be good, it's telling us to get out into the sunshine. Why?

 

Sunlight, entering the eyes, aims at a portion of the brain that begins releasing another hormone, serotonin, sometimes known as the "happiness hormone." The lack of sunshine is often seen as a reason for seasonal mood disorders.

 

How to Remain Safe Indoors and Still Be Healthy

 

Here are a few tips to consider:

 

1. Yes, sunshine is very good even though some people are prone to skin cancer. It also causes our bodies to utilize Vitamin D to maintain our bones, teeth, immune system, regulate insulin,  and our nervous system. And, according to some research, it may also provide protection against the flu.

2. Talk to your doctor about supplements in this time of sunshine avoidance.

3. Consider walking in your home or walking in place or doing simple exercise routines along with an instructor on a TV exercise program

4. Read a book as you sit near a window where the sun shines in, but don't overdo it because over-exposure, as I've indicated, can result in skin changes that may result in skin cancer

5. Simply reading will help you to lower your stress level and increase your immune system's functioning by lower the stress hormone, cortisol. If you don't want to read, how about relaxing music or music that will make you want to dance around your home? Put a dust mop in your hand and you can do two things at once.

 

Remember, you have control and you can learn to turn your biology to your advantage with a few simple changes. The sunshine will be there when it's safe to go out again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

 
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Tenafly, NJ
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