What do you see here? Three women smiling as they are in the ocean, having fun and soaking in all that Vitamin D. Their serotonin levels are high, their enjoying life, without acknowledging the science behind it all. What these women (aka, Squid and her best friends) also don’t realize is that they are surrounded by negative ions that are elevating their serotonin levels. Thats right- you heard me. Negative Ions.
Before I brag about how great these negative ions are, I am sure some of you who are reading might not know (or know, just forgot) what ions are.
An ion is when an atom gains or loses an electron(s). An ion that loses an electron, resulting in a positive charge, is a called a cation. And an ion that gains an electron, resulting in a negative charge, is called an anion.
So… You’re Telling Me That Negative Ions are… Good?
Yes! Negative ions are great for you, despite the fact that the name ‘negative ion’ does not match the adjective. But believe it or not, negative ions are beneficial for your health. Negative ions are typically found in nature, specifically in the woods and places with moving water. Like I stated above, negative ions help elevate your serotonin levels; for those of you who don’t know what serotonin is, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences your well-being and happiness. In addition to serotonin levels, negative ions help boost mental health and help those who are suffering from depression or anxiety. During stressful times, being in the outdoors is a great way boost your energy because you are surrounded by negative ions. These ions have also been found to keep blood pressure balanced especially during stressful times. If you would like to know more about negative ions, Organic Soul has a great article about the benefits of these amazing ions. However, I am sure you are wondering… what about the positive ions?
Positive Ions are NOT the Same as Negative Ions
When we think about seasonal depression and pollution, one thing they have in common is their levels of positive ions. Positive ions are typically found indoors, unlike negative ions which are found outdoors. In the long winter months, positive ions are more likely to add up because we keep our windows closed (for the most part) not letting in any of the fresh air. Positive ions are also found in fluorescent light bulbs, plastics, metals and electronics. One of the biggest sources of positive ions is air pollution. Although it is outdoors, the pollution creates an unbalanced level of positive ions which results in health issues. Some of these health issues include fatigue, headaches, allergies, infections and depression. It has also been found that positive ions could stem from weather conditions such as cold fronts and low pressure system.
Finding a Balance
Finding a balance in the long winter months is extremely important for our health. Although the winter usually means cool temperatures, it could help to take a walk or a run every once in awhile to breathe in all those beautiful negative ions. Other ideas to keep your ions balanced is to take a break from your cell phone or computers which will decrease your levels of positive ions. It has also been found that showering could help elevate negative ions (because it is a moving body of water!).
I hope you all were as amazed as I was about these ions. For those of you in a chemistry classroom, I think this would be a great way to relate ions to the real world- especially since most of us didn’t know about them until now!
Photo credit: https://prezi.com/4gi0vofsy6pm/ions/