​​​​How Does Sunlight Affect Depression?

If a sadistic person wants to make someone depressed, he might use a common torture technique and put his victim in a dark room to deprive him of sunlight.

After all, even if he doesn’t understand the science behind it, he appreciates that people naturally tend to feel down and depressed when deprived of sunlight.

Fortunately, the inverse is also true. When people get sunlight, they tend to feel better and happier.

So learn from this: since a lack of sunlight naturally makes you feel down and depressed, and since getting sunlight helps you feel better and happier, be sure to get some sunlight every day to become and remain depression-free.

This is a simple, little thing to do every day, and it has a big payoff. It doesn’t even have to be that much sunlight. Even a small amount like 5 minutes will help you a lot.

Just be smart and wear sunscreen to take care of your skin.

Go outside: no sunlight leads to depression

Does lack of sunlight cause depression?

Remember, what ultimately causes depression is your thinking. But there a variety of factors that can contribute to depression, like not getting enough sunlight.

If you’ve been holed up in your house and not going outside because you’re depressed, here’s an important insight: not going outside and getting sunlight contributes to you feeling down and depressed.

So, to get out of depression, be sure to get outside and get some sunlight.

Even if you’re not up for interacting with other people, that’s fine. You can still stand by yourself in the sunlight, which will help you become depression-free faster and easier.

What is the effect of sunlight on depression?

Have you ever seen a plant (like a flower) bending towards the sunlight to get as much light as it can? This is because sunlight nourishes it.

Even though you’re not a  plant, sunlight nourishes you as well:

  • It helps produce serotonin, which is a a chemical associated with elevated mood and greater happiness
  • It sets off a process that changes cholesterol into Vitamin D (a hormone that greatly improves overall well-being)
  • The result is that you naturally feel better, happier, and less depressed after exposure to sunlight

You might have heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). The basic idea, here, is that when people don’t get as much sunlight (like, for example, due to shorter hours of sunlight in winter), they tend to be less happy and be more prone to sadness and depression.

But the inverse is also true: when people get sunlight, they tend to feel better and be happier.

And now you know of at least 2 reasons why this is the case, and why getting sunlight helps depression go away.

Does sunlight cure depression?

If you start getting more sunlight, that’s great. After all, getting sunlight is one of the 6 Depression-Free Changes that helps you get rid of depression faster and easier.

But don’t think that sunlight cures depression on its own. As always, the most important and powerful factor for eliminating depression is to replace negative thinking with positive thinking. And you will not stop being depressed until this happens.

For example, if you continue thinking negative thoughts like “My life is awful” or “I’ll never be happy”, it doesn’t matter how much sunlight you get. You’ll remain depressed.

Think about it: even though sunlight sets off chemical processes that naturally help you feel better, healthier, happier, and stronger, it simply doesn’t matter how much seretonin, dopamine, or Vitamin D that you have in your system, if you continue to think negative thoughts about how terrible, meaningless, and pointless everything is.

On the other hand, if you improve your thinking and you get enough sunlight every day, you’ll get rid of depression a lot faster and easier. So this is exactly what you want to do.

Next: Can Exercise Help Depression? →

You are here:

Section 5 Lessons:

  1. How to get rid of negative thoughts and depression
  2. How to stop ruminating & dwelling on negative thoughts
  3. Can omega 3 help with depression?
  4. How does sunlight affect depression?
  5. Can exercise help depression?
  6. Does social interaction help depression?
  7. Is sleep good for depression?

Next Section In The Depression-Free Course:

Section 6

About the author

Hi, I'm Dave Fonvielle, the founder of Always Greater. On this website I teach you step by step how to be happier and more successful achieving your goals, whether it's completing a small personal to do task, like doing the dishes, or a large business goal, like launching a new product. Get my free 3 Tiny Habits for Being Happier & More Successful training for all of this right here.