How watching sunrise or sunset can improve your health

November 19, 2015, 10:34 a.m.
Sunset over St Mary's lake.
Photo: Pung/Shutterstock

Making a point to watch sunrise or sunset every day is a wonderful way to improve your mental and physical health. The act of finding a beautiful spot from which to watch the day begin or end, and enjoy the light at it's most colorful and varying, is the perfect opportunity to slow down, center your mind, and de-stress.

Any time you can put your life on pause and simply breathe, make your mind quiet, and enjoy the moment is a positive thing. We spend so much time rushing, worrying, ticking off items on the to-do list, that it is easy to get wrapped into a dangerous spiral of stress.

The health benefits of meditation and time in nature are well documented by science. Taking a purposeful moment in the morning or evening to just sit and watch something beautiful is a great solution to all the bustle of the day.

Plus, the event is timed so you know exactly when to free yourself up and about for how long you'll have your break, so it's easy to schedule into your day.

Watching sunrise can be particularly helpful, as researchers have found a connection between early morning light exposure and regulating one's metabolism. And this is the perfect time of year to begin the practice of watching sunrise or sunset, since they are more spectacular in winter months.

We give you tips in this article on how to get yourself out for sunrise.

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Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.