In a world centered in technology, it is difficult to find reasons to pry ourselves away from the television or computer. Facebook has become the tire swing tied to a tree of the newest generation. We have become engrossed in video games and our smart phones and forgot about the world around us. I must admit, I’m guilty of falling into the charm technology has. It takes a great strength to turn off Ellen DeGeneres! However, I feel the sunshine on my face as it comes through the window and I remember how much I truly love being outdoors.
One of my favorite things to do is to grab a friend, football or Frisbee (or both!), a book and a blanket, and go to a nearby park. I could spend hours and hours simply passing a football or Frisbee and reading a good book while lying on a blanket. During those moments, I feel nothing but pure bliss. One of the unique aspects about going to a park is the atmosphere. Everyone seems just as happy as I am. Even if I am not in a particularly positive mood, it is impossible not to get swept up by the positive energy. It is impossible not to look around at everyone else smiling and laughing and not do the same.
One reason everyone might seem so happy at the park is the sunshine itself. Studies have found links between sunshine and happiness and have concluded that sunshine raises serotonin (a natural anti-depressant) levels in the body. A specific study found a direct link of higher serotonin levels to longer duration of sunlight on any given day. All you have to do to feel a little happier in any given moment is step outside and enjoy the sunlight! So step outside, everyone! Soak up that vitamin D, smile, and know that for this moment in your life, you are a little happier than the moment before.