If you’re a regular reader of the SelectSpecs blog, you’ll know that sunglasses have many great benefits – they reduce glare and eye strain, they act as a barrier against dust and debris and most importantly, they protect the eyes from the sun’s damaging Ultra Violet rays. But could sunglasses also have an effect on how we feel?
A recent study published by PubMed online has revealed that wearing sunglasses can actually make you feel happier.
The study suggests that when the sun is shining in our eyes, we automatically squint and scrunch our faces into a frown. This facial expression is more often associated with aggression or deception and can actually trick your brain into thinking that you’re feeling angry or distressed.
This link between facial expression and mood isn’t a new phenomenon. After all, it is well-known that forcing yourself to smile can trigger happy feelings in the brain. In fact, there’s a quote that says “It is almost impossible to smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside.” So does it make sense for the opposite to be true, too?
To conduct this study, researchers stopped a series of random people walking along a beach on a sunny day. They chose people both with and without sunglasses and asked them a series of questions about their mood and feelings at the time. The results were quite conclusive:
“We found that participants walking against the sun without sunglasses scored higher in a self-report measure of anger and aggression compared to those walking with the sun behind and/or wearing sunglasses. We also suggest that frowning at the sun affects mood very quickly, because we did not find any effect of walking time on self-reported aggressiveness.”
Now, you may be thinking that the mood of the participants was nothing to do with the sun; perhaps they felt happy or unhappy about something else? However, the researchers thought of this. They asked each person how much the sun was bothering their eyes, and incorporated this data into their findings.
So, the study shows that, in the same way that smiling can boost your mood, frowning (for whatever reason) can make you feel more unhappy. When bright sunlight makes us squint, it can actually change how we’re feeling at the time.
The simple solution is wearing sunglasses. A good pair of sunglasses with adequate UV protection will make it much easier to see in bright sunlight and prevent the need to squint and frown in the first place. So sunglasses can affect your mood and will prevent negative feelings!
What do you think of the results of this study? Here at SelectSpecs, we already loved sunglasses, but the news that they can make you feel happier has made us even bigger fans.
So, next time the sun is shining, don’t forget to wear your shades. Not only will they protect your eyes from sun damage, but they’ll make you feel much happier. And what could be better than that?