We posted a meme awhile back saying we all need our Vitamin Sea, a play on words, but maybe not. There is apparently scientifically based evidence out that would support that being on, in, or near water is actually better for mental health. In fact, the research indicates there is a change in our brain because of the encounter with water.
Blue space, as it is called, is more likely to produce calm, relaxation, creativity, and peace much more effectively than green space even. We can relax by walking or sitting in the park among green grass and trees, flowers and the outdoors but science is revealing according to some studies, that the impact of blue water is much more effective in reaching those states of the mind and is also capable of releasing creativity as it increases relaxed calm.
Ways blue space makes an impact:
- Reducing Stress – Our minds are over stimulated in our natural environments with constant bombardment of information, visual stimuli, sounds, and thoughts. The rhythm of the water, the smell, the color, and motion causes us to let go and relax. As we fall into a meditative state near the water, we can begin to relax, clear our minds of the clutter, and secure some downtime! Our brains don’t stop working, they work differently. Water isn’t quiet but it is a more simplified sound that changes our brains’ reception.
- Reduces Depression – The sounds of the water movement create a more meditative state, allowing for more mental clarity which reduces depression. Just a swim, walk in the water, or sitting by the water’s edge can make a real difference.
- Increases Our Creativity – When our brain is less cluttered, more relaxed there are increased chances for creative thought to occur; “the mind switches into a different mode of engagement, known as the default mode network— the brain network associated with daydreaming, imagination, consolidation of memories, self-referential thought, insight and introspection” (HEALTHY LIVING 09/12/2014 Updated Feb 25, 2016 Carolyn Gregoire, Senior Writer, The Huffington Post) Even the shower can be a possible substitute for the ocean, many songs and ideas are spawned from a nice long shower.
- Allows Us to be More Compassionate and Connected – Being around water naturally causes our mind to think bigger, see the overall AWE of our environment which takes the focus off of ourselves (ME) and connects more to others and the whole in a way that can increase our connectedness.
Our society is stimulated by sounds, visual stimulus, and information which is constantly bombarding us from screens, signs, devices, and crowds. Getting a break is important, green space like parks and woods are good but the science indicates that water is even better for escaping and getting some relief! If all you can do is get to a stream or lake, even the shower I guess, do it. But if you can get to blue water in the ocean or Gulf, come see us and do some real mental therapy at the beach. It is scientifically significant so it may soon be prescribed by your doctor, GO TO THE BEACH!
Additional links for this study: