If you are anything like me being near the ocean probably makes you feel calm and serene. I know that it’s the first place I go to when I feel stressed or melancholy. Being near the water always makes me feel at peace. Both the sight and the sound of it makes me feel happier.
I recently finished “Blue Mind,” a book written by Wallace J. Nichols. He is a marine biologist and conservationist. His book tries to answer questions about the connection between our brain and bodies of water. It looks into the reasons of why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness.
Nichols explores the scientific reasons for why we have such a deep connection with water. He says that there are cognitive and emotional benefits that we get every time we spend time by water. He began hosting “blue mind” seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world. He uses the term “Blue Mind” to describe a state of water-associated peace. It’s in contrast to what one neuroscientist calls a “Red Mind,” an edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety, fear, and despair.
Here are some amazing facts, brain imagining shows that being near water floods the brain with feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.
Our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, an incredible 75 percent! Nichols says when we see or hear water it triggers a response in our brains that we are in the right place. He says the ocean literally sucks the stress out of our bodies and out of our minds. I have to say, that is true for me. What about you?
The next time you want to relax why not try taking a soothing bath? Maybe you can go fishing, or swimming. How about a walk on the beach? You can also learn to surf, visit an aquarium or maybe place a water fountain in your backyard and just relax there.
Learning how beneficial it is for us to be around water makes a powerful argument for keeping our world’s waters clean, healthy, and free. Now go enjoy a delicious tall glass of water and relax. And while you are doing that be thankful that we have clean water to drink! Nearly two billion people around the world do not.
Think on that, and while you are thinking, here are some great ways to help.