Ever notice how alive you feel on a beautiful warm sunny day? There is something magical about the live giving force of the sun. It brings us a sense of hope and joy. Without the power of the sun, life on earth would cease to exist. Yet over the years, many of us have come to fear and avoid the sun due to risks of skin cancer and eye damage. Some of us spend so much time indoors that we don’t even catch a single ray. The sun isn’t all-bad—in fact spending a little time in the sun can actually be good for you.

Sun Worship

Since the dawn of time, humankind has revered the power of the sun. Among ancient peoples, the sun was seen as the source of all life. It provides light and warmth. Without it, crops fail to grow and livestock starves.

The sun isn’t all-bad—in fact spending a little time in the sun can actually be good for you.

So important was the sun, that many ancient cultures worshipped it in the form of a god or solar deity. The ancient Egyptians glorified Ra, the Sun God who drove his chariot across the sky to bring light to the world. Meanwhile, the ancient Greeks paid homage to Helios, who was not unlike Ra. The cult of Helios performed an annual ritual involving a giant chariot pulled by horses that would plunge off a cliff into the sea. Early Persian peoples celebrated the sun’s rising each day with rituals and ceremonies. Obviously the sun was very important in the lives of these early peoples.

Spending Time in the Sun for Physical Health

Although we no longer worship the sun as the ancients did, the star of our solar system is no less important to life. We still rely on its live giving energy for light, heat and nourishment. But aside from these factors, spending a little time in the sun is actually good for your health.

Sensible sun exposure helps your skin synthesize Vitamin D, which is important for a variety of metabolic functions. It helps with calcium absorption to create strong healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis. Research indicates it may also help ward off the development of certain cancer cells related to cancer of the breast, colon and blood.

Time spent in the sun can also aid sleep. Daytime sun exposure helps the body produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and circadian rhythms. This may help explain why you often sleep well after a day of fun in the sun.

Spending Time in the Sun for Mental and Emotional Health

The sun’s rays also have an effect on our mental and emotional health. In addition to the sheer enjoyment of time under those sunny rays, there is a complex biochemical process going on in your brain. Sunlight stimulates the productions of endorphins or feel-good hormones. One hormone in particular—serotonin—is targeted, thus helping improve your mood. You might consider it nature’s answer to Prozac!

Lack of sunlight also contributes to what’s known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD. Again, mental and emotional health often suffers during the darker winter months when sun exposure is limited. More people suffer from depression during this time of year as compared to sunnier months.

Spending Time in the Sun for Spiritual Health

The sun can also improve your spiritual health. It’s no secret that the sun’s rays are composed of energy vibrations. It contains universal life force energy or chi. Boosting your own chi or life force is a healthy practice. Adding moderate sunlight exposure can help you create more positive spiritual vibrations.

Inviting a little sunlight into your home can clear negative vibrations and boost chi in your environment. Expose those dark nooks and crannies to a little sun now and then. Make it a habit to open those blinds and let the sun shine in!

The sun can provide so many miracles if used wisely. Be sensible and safe with your exposure to the sun, but don’t hide from it anymore. Go ahead, spend a little time in the sun—it can be good for you!