Did you know that being mindful of the sunset is good for your health and mental wellbeing? We aren’t kidding! You can find multiple studies and research publication that all support adding a way to track sunsets into your daily routine.
Sunsets are awesome, inspiring and beautiful yet most of us only notice this special event when we are on holiday. Well some good news, you do not necessarily have to be in the middle of Barbados to enjoy the calming, rejuvenating, and life-changing appreciation of a sunset.
Wherever you call home, rest assured, the sun rises and sets every single day. Yes: Every. Single. Day. So there is a good reason why you could take a few steps to be mindful of your time by tracking your sunset.
Sunsets stand for something bigger — a chance for renewal.
The setting sun marks and end of another chapter in our lives. It reminds you to start anew for a better tomorrow. It ushers in the calm of evening and the peacefulness of the night. It helps us take stock of our day and rejoice in our accomplishments. It’s a refresher to prepare ourselves to better every day.
And if you are in search of researched facts, here are the some more published health benefits from tracking your sunsets…
1. Sunsets help you gain an appreciation for everything you have
“Research studies by psychologists at Stanford University and Minnesota Carlson School of Management have shown that people feel like they had more time available and became more patient, less worried about physical things, and more willing to volunteer in social causes.” (Source)
2. Watching sunsets energised participants in another study
“Nature add colours to our worlds. We tend to rely on dietary stimulants often to give us a boost when feeling down, but new research suggests a better way to get invigorated is to connect with nature.” – Richard Ryan, PhD (Source)
3. Sunsets help you feel calmer
Sungazing activated the pineal gland as the direct sunlight hits the eye, moves through the retinal-hypothalamic tract, and then hits the brain according to new research. This starts up the pineal gland, AKA the “master gland”. This increases the secretion of melatonin and serotonin, the “feel-good” hormones. (Source)
4. You can slow down your perception of time
You can slow down your perception of time by watching the visuals and colours of the sunset. Studies have shown that people who felt a sense of awe — helped them perceive time flowing by at a slower pace. (Source)
5. Increase your satisfaction with life
“ You can get a higher level of life satisfaction, gratitude and a positive outlook through engaging with beautiful things according to another study. This was most pronounced for engagement with natural beauty. It’s normal to stop and stare at a breathtaking sunset – That’s a good thing.” (Source)
“Even as a Londoner, I remember vividly noticing that despite the city being so big (with countless skyscrapers), the sunset, something completely intangible, had the power to stop countless of the 9 million-plus people, and remind them just how beautiful life is when you choose to see it.”
6. You get a reason to step outside
Nature is natural fuel for the soul, and just 10 to 20 minutes of fresh air can make you feel refreshed and centred.
7. It will make you more aware of your time
Studies show that knowing when the sun sets and rises visually helps your body align its circadian rhythm subconsciously. This leads to improved mindfulness and sleep quality.
So try forming a sunset-watching Slack group at work and rally the company to take a break outside. Ok, maybe your company wouldn’t be overly enthusiastic about this, but even if you can’t get a glimpse of the sunset outside as often as you would like, how about the next best thing: a live breathtaking sunset that sits on your phone!