We may be stating the obvious here, but being near a large water body is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And why wouldn’t it be? Listening to the splashing waves of the ocean, taking a quiet boat ride, or watching a waterfall are just a few times we feel tranquil and truly at peace.
While being by the ocean is one of the best things for us to experience, it is also really good for your health. According to science, oceans inspire creativity, promote compassion, and vastly decreases anxiety.
In his latest book, Blue Mind, marine biologist, Wallace J. Nichols wrote, “We have a ‘blue mind’ — and it’s perfectly tailored to make us happy in all sorts of ways that go way beyond relaxing in the surf, listening to the murmur of a stream, or floating quietly in a pool.” He further says, “Blue Mind is defined as a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water, from the color blue to the words we use to describe the sensations associated with immersion.”
When we’re close to the ocean, we experience serenity in its purest form. We are mindful and relaxed, yet our brain is focused.
In one of his TEDx Talks, Nichols explains the benefits of being close to nature, and says, “Nature is medicine – a walk on the beach; a surfing session; a stroll through the woods heals us. It fixes what’s broken inside of us. Nature can reduce our stress, it can make us more creative and bring us together.” He further talks about what happens to us when we’re near water and says, “This sense of awe moves us from a ‘me’ to a ‘we’ perspective. Awe and wonder, and passion takes over in water. There is a feeling of connection to others and something beyond the immediate.”
A study by the University of Exeter gathered that people who live closer to the coast were healthier and lived longer and happier lives overall. To top it all, another research by Canterbury, Otago, and Michigan State University found that even catching just a glimpse of the ocean reduces stress and adds to one’s overall well-being.
Well, we already knew being by the ocean did us good. Now science says so too.
Inspired by this article.