Have you ever visited the beach and suddenly experienced a sense of relief? You see the blue ocean, feel the warm sand, listen to the sound of the waves crashing, and all of a sudden, you start feeling calmer. Well, this is not just the aesthetics or a sheer coincidence. In fact, there is neuroscience and human psychology involved, which indicates how positive effects are seen when people visit the ocean.
So, does it mean that living near the ocean can have a long-term impact on mental health too? Absolutely! The mind and body are closely associated such that our physical presence at a place immediately affects our mental health. How does that happen? And in what ways does being near the ocean affect our mental health? Keep reading to answer all of these questions.
Before we get into the details about how living near the ocean can change the way you feel, let’s address the fundamental concern: the association between the mind and body.
The physical presence of our body, or physical activity that we engage in, affects our mind because of the release of hormones. For instance, if your body participates in a cardio exercise like running, the body releases endorphins, which is one of our happy hormones. This results in an improvement in mental health by relieving anxiety, managing depression, etc. Similarly, the place where you dwell has certain environmental factors that affect physiological and psychological conditions. That being said, let’s look at how being near the ocean can affect your mental health.
Lower Stress Levels
Oceans are a huge part of our natural territory, and we all know that. The human body responds positively when we surround ourselves with nature for obvious reasons such as higher oxygen levels. There is a reason why yoga gurus carry out their practices in natural surroundings: the reinforcement of a calming and refreshing space. So, people being close to the ocean, surrounded by natural beauty, tend to have a purer and higher oxygen level. This leads to controlled blood pressure and healthy heart rate, ultimately leading to lower stress levels.
As mentioned previously, nature makes up for the most organic meditative state, and the ocean does just that. Several parts of the sea enhance a sense of mindfulness. For instance, exposure to sunlight boosts the supply of serotonin in the body. The touch of warm sand is nothing but a holistic massage. Watching the waves crash and listening to the sound of water relieves anxiety. All in all, it creates a highly adaptive and soothing space that makes us feel calmer. This is also why most people associate spending time at the beach with feeling happy.
Blue Mind Is A Peaceful Mind
Blue mind is a term that expresses how being near or even inside water puts the human mind at peace. It suggests that being around large water bodies such as the oceans, rivers, lakes, etc., brings us a sense of calmness. In fact, there is something called “surf therapy,” which is a type of psychotherapy. Surfing can help relieve mental health conditions like depression and PTSD, as it helps disconnect from the trauma and improves mood. Other than that, scuba diving also proves helpful, as being underwater can put you in a mildly meditative state.
The Color Blue
In addition to all these positive effects, another thing that makes the ocean a stress-relieving agent is its color. Now, we know that water has no color as such, but since it reflects the color of the sky, water appears to be blue. According to color psychology, blue color stands for serenity. Additionally, it represents calmness, tranquility, and soundness. The reason behind this is that our mind responds to the color blue such that after seeing it, we feel secure, calm, and at peace. The color blue causes our body to generate calming chemicals, such as serotonin.
All in all, it is fair to say that our surroundings play a massive role in how we perceive the world and how we feel about ourselves. A variety of scientific branches work together in developing our mental health. Biology, neurology, psychology, and geology are involved, which collectively affect our physical and mental health. Make sure you allow yourself to visit the beach every once in a while to feel the serotonin rushing through your body.