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Are we happier on summer holidays?

In the northern hemisphere, we find ourselves in winter with all its beauty and peculiarities. In the southern hemisphere, however, the beginning of the new year comes with lots of sun, light, and heat. For this reason, it is also the preferred time for many expats to travel to warmer places and for Brazilians to visit their homeland.

It's not just a perception: a combination of factors makes the body and mind healthier and more balanced and makes the hot season the most celebrated time of the year.

Weather influences but does not determine. The heat, as well as the greater interaction between people in the streets, parks, and beaches, is likely to encourage extroversion, setting the mood of joy in the air. Below I bring you the benefits of the heat that we can enjoy in summer in any hemisphere.

The sun

One of the reasons we become happier at this time of year is that we are inundated with chemical messengers that bring a sense of well-being. Its production is activated by sunlight. This is the case of serotonin, the pleasure neurotransmitter, which also regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and body temperature. This may explain the desire to spend all day at the beach or at the pool. And the bomb mood you usually experience later.

Furthermore, the sun sets the pace for our biological cycles and takes part in our psychic balance, our sleep, and our mood. In fact, it stimulates our mood, as the light received by our eyes allows us to fight depression. In this way, when we are exposed to the sun, we often feel a sense of well-being. This feeling comes from endorphin B, responsible for tanning. It acts on the sensory neurons and creates a kind of euphoria that is very good for the body. It allows you to rediscover calm and serenity, reduce stress, pain and cause slight drowsiness. Endorphins also intervene in loving feelings, hence the impression of relaxation and well-being under the sun...

The light also adjusts our internal clock, setting the rhythms of sleep and vigil. With nightfall, cortisol drops, and melatonin is released, which will create the ideal conditions for sleep. This balance affects the production of other hormones, impacting mood and physical and mental health.

Beach and contact with nature

In the heat, longer days encourage visiting beaches and parks, which helps relieve stress. Studies on health and well-being that assess the physical and emotional effects of contact with nature indicate that, in addition to physical well-being, those who walk in the woods, for example, have better interaction and less social influence.

Outdoor physical activities

Unsurprisingly, regular physical activity and mental health are inseparable partners. The warm climate favors outdoor physical activities, in parks and beaches. Because of this, many people on vacation in the heat often feel more motivated to start a physical activity or learn a new sport.

Physical activity such as walking, running, cycling and dancing stimulates the production of beta-endorphins, our natural pain reliever. In addition to alleviating pain, it provides a feeling of well-being, relieves anxiety and stress, and contributes to emotional balance.

Not everyone likes it and it's ok

Although many people prefer the hot climate, some people do not tolerate the heat. As we are extremely adaptable, we can live well in extreme situations, such as the Nordic countries, which stand out among the happiest countries in the world even with a long and rigorous winter.

The key may be to enjoy what is pleasant and make adaptations, such as using lights to compensate for winter darkness or air conditioning to keep the temperature warm when necessary.

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