We really do feel better around the ocean and I don’t just mean sitting under a palm tree with a margarita in your hand. I mean the real, deep, in-your-head stuff. What is it about water, especially the ocean, that seems to make such a difference? Lets’ examine if and why our brains do better around water?
On, In and Under Water
There have been countless articles published describing that our brains do better around water. Take scuba diving for example. It brings the diver all sorts of benefits. Some of these come directly from contact with the water, others are less direct, like the socializing benefits of being around other divers. That’s where the margarita effect comes in.
Being outdoors, in fresh air, exposed to sunlight, being in a warmer climate all help to reduce stress.
Being under water gives us exercise building our strength and flexibility. While diving we tend to automatically slow our breathing and breathe more deeply. That induces a state of calm which in turn reduces our heart rate. Scuba diving and free diving both have comparative effects to meditation. Meditation is a common tool recommended by mental health practitioners to create mindfulness and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
You can visit Deeper Blue for the full description of how our brains do better around water while scuba diving.
Boating is Good for Your Brain
A lot of the benefits that your brain experiences while scuba diving are also apparent while scooting along on the surface, or quietly kayaking on a tranquil lake. Our friends at Discover Boating.com have provided this handy infographic that explains why it’s better to have a Blue Mind rather than a Red Mind.
Maybe as the infographic shows, the reason our brains do better around water is because our brains are 75% water. Our Blue Ocean Summit Alumni Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is the source to go to for all things “Blue Mind.”
Dr. Nichols pioneers the Blue Mind Life and Blue Mind Rx movement. Blue Mind Rx is created around the idea that water is medicine. Share this document with your health practitioner so they can read up on the peer-reviewed research that supports a prescription for regularly scheduled time near, in, and on, healthy waters. Ask them to add their name to the list of endorsements that support water as medicine.
One Wave Surfing Talks about Mental Health
One Wave Is All It Takes is a surf community that tackles the issue of mental illness by dressing up in Fluro clothes and surfing at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Each and every Friday morning for Fluro Friday they put the spotlight on mental health. Their slogan is “Together we can beat the “FUNK” One Wave at a time.” Their message has spread around the world. “How good to be in the ocean, how good to catch that wave.” Testimony that it’s indeed true that our brains do better around water. See their instagram here.
Climate Change and the Link to Mental Health
Mental health affects so many people, and if it doesn’t affect you directly, we are sure that there is someone in your life that has ups and downs with their mental space. That means that it effects you as well, even if indirectly. The collective conscious is affected by the mental health of humanity and increasing connection to water, especially wild waterways can help.
The people in this network that are awake to the realities of our changing ecosystem are also more prone to mental health issues. Ecological grief is “the mourning of ecosystems and species and ways of life that are disappearing as the planet warms.” The scientists, artists, tourism operators, fisherfolk, coral farmers, and ocean lovers are on the front lines of an often unseen underwater ecological change. We know this affects your mental state. We support you in your mental health. A shared burden becomes lessened. We encourage you to connect with us and others in your network about it and to seek out safe spaces like One Wave to live your truth. We wish you Water.
Blue Ocean Network
See these Related Blue Ocean Articles:
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
We believe ocean lovers can change the world. If you care about the health of the ocean and want to do something about it, then connect with the Blue Ocean tribe: Our growing community of ocean change-makers is turning ocean lovers into ocean leaders. It starts with you. Join us!