I think it’s safe to assume that there are very few people in the world who, when setting foot alongside the ocean while breathing in the salt sea air, didn’t find themselves suddenly feeling more relaxed and grounded, with a clearer mind as that pressure suddenly falls away from your shoulders. Millions flock annually to beach destinations to soak up the sun, swim, surf, boat, relax and unwind. In fact, the World Wildlife Fund states that 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas. That is a lot of people wanting to holiday near the water! Whether you prefer a lakeside cottage or an all inclusive beach resort with multiple swimming pools and a sea view, there are many health benefits to being near the water.
Meditation and Psychological Effects
Do you ever find yourself heading to the beach, to the lake or to that waterfall? When you arrive, do you suddenly feel a sense of awe and calm as soon as the sounds of the water hits your ears? The sound of waves are a type of white noise, a sound produced by, “combining sounds of all different frequencies together.” And since white noise hits all of those frequencies at one time, it masks the other sounds around it, allowing you to be more relaxed and less distracted by odd sounds and noises around you. Minerals in the sea air also reduce stress. Breathing in healthy, fresh, mineral rich air while listening to the sound of the water is a form of meditation in itself, but if you choose to sit still, close your eyes and give yourself the proper time for a gentle practice, your mind and body will thank you for it even more!
Water is Healing
Water is a source of life for our planet. Water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface and makes up between 65% and 78% percent of our body. We as human beings have a deep connection with water, biologically and spiritually. In an article on QZ.com, Marine Biologist and Author Wallace Nichols states, “This deep biological connection has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation.” It’s no wonder are drawn to it, especially in times of stress and discomfort.
Water can also be healing for individuals who struggle with physical frailties or injuries. Water acts as a cushion for joints, so exercise is much more gentle and low impact, lessening the strain on your body. Water can also act as a painkiller to help relieve certain aches. Have you ever jumped in the shower to relieve those sore muscles? Bingo.
How about salt water? Yup. That’s the good stuff, too. Going for a swim in the ocean can help clear your sinuses and help your body relax. How about those awesome float pods? It’s like your floating in the darkness of space. But the magnesium rich water helps to relax and soothe tense and sore muscles, and the dark space creates a sense of calm as your senses gently rest.
Water Combats Tech Stress
We’ve become dependent upon our technology. We’re often glued to our screens at the office, when we wake up in the morning and check our phones, when we go to bed at night and have that urge to do ‘one last check’ before bed...even on the toilet. Admit it. You’re a toilet texter. We take tech everywhere we go. And in this fast paced, rat race of a world it’s easy to get caught up in the so-called importance of being plugged in and always in the know, ready to answer any call for a social outing or email for work, even after you’ve clocked out for the day. But this reliance can border obsessive, it’s unhealthy and it causes stress, anxiety, even frustration and anger. Unplugging is so important. Guess what can help? Being near that good ol’ H20.
Getting near, on or in the water can help clear up foggy, depressed and stressed minds. Putting away your phone and closing your computer for the day and immersing yourself in time spent around water will rejuvenate your senses, relax your overly exhausted mind and help diminish that need to rush to your phone. Your body was made to connect with nature, connect with water. So let it.