Science Explains How The Beach Can Change Our Brains and Mental Health
We all know going to the beach seems to have a positive effect on us, but we are not quite sure why. Could it be the water, the sun, the smell?
Wallace J. Nichols has spent almost two whole decades as a marine biologist studying Pacific Ocean sea turtles and working with fishermen in Baja California, Mexico to protect turtles from poachers but recently has been looking onto neuroscience and something he calls “blue mind.” For the past five years, he has been researching human behavior and has come to believe that the best way to protect the oceans is to make the people value the good feelings that come from being around the water. According to The Washington Post, he has organized a yearly conference on the “Blue Mind” in order to bring together researchers studying the marine world as well as the human brain.
He has a book called “Blue Mind” that covers everything from personal stories to research studies. Apparently, the “Blue Mind” is something that refers to a mild meditative state that we find ourselves in when we are in or even under water. He claims to have gained a huge network of people over the past five years who seem interested in this and pushing the research forward. You see, when we step out of the normal stress of our everyday lives and get back to nature we shift. Our bodies and minds relax. We literally change.
In this, a different brain network is activated and it leads to a feeling of connectedness. This could be something we achieve by going to a swimming pool, river, pond, ocean, or well anywhere that is not polluted really. If you have ever asked someone to think of a perfect place in their mind chances are it was somewhere around water.
Take the time to pay attention to how the water in your shower makes you feel next time you take one. Chances are you will notice how relaxing it is. We are surrounded by water if we look for it. As people, we undervalue oceans big time. Nichols told The Washington Post that access to the “Blue Mind” means access to a waterway that is not polluted. This is something we all need whether it is for relaxation or not when you really think about it. There is a lot going on in this world that is damaging our water supplies.
He has worked with tons of people and heard tons of stories all having to do with water making a positive impact in someone’s life. For more on this please take the time to watch the video below. Do you love going to the beach or swimming in general? Does it make you relaxed like Nichols says it does those he has worked with?