Who doesn’t love spending time at the beach? The fresh air and sound of the waves can be an excellent escape from our busy lives. Spending time outdoors is good for you on both a physical and mental level, however, spending time specifically on the beach has some advantages of its own. Studies from the United States and Britain have found that beach-dwelling promotes improved happiness, general well-being and even brain function. This could be why residents of Hawaii are ranked the happiest in the whole country for six consecutive Gallop surveys. Another research by Kobe University in Japan found that people who live in a house with a view of the ocean are calmer than those who don’t. So, without further ado, here are a few reasons why you should be visiting the beach every now and then.
1. A visit to the beach can have a huge impact on your stress level.
According to Medical Daily, sea water contains minerals including magnesium, potassium and iodine that could help the body fight infection. Inhaling air around the sea also has respiratory benefits which could result in a good night’s sleep. Apart from all the vitamin D from the sun, the naturally occurring positive ions can put you in a relaxed state. So, whether you are visiting for your kids to have fun or to jump in for a swim, you’re sure to experience a state of relaxation.
2. The color blue is associated with feelings of calm and peace.
Even if you are someone who is afraid of the ocean, simply sitting and staring at the blue waters can put you in a meditative state. Clinical psychologist Richard Shuster explains that studies indicate the color blue can actually change the frequency of brain waves. The sound of waves coming in, crashing and then receding again can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing us down and promoting relaxation. And even the physical sensation of sand between your toes is good for your well-being.
3. It can help reduce feelings of depression.
Depression can affect our way of life. It has the power to immobilize us and put us through a painful journey that we have no choice but to participate in. The hypnotic sound of the waves in combination with the sight and smells of the beach can provide some relief from feelings of depression. A study was conducted over an eight week period and published in Psychiatry Research. The study found that when patients were subjected to the calming properties of the beach, the part of the brain that is responsible for stress emotions began to shrink, while the areas that produce empathy, reasoning and memory grew.
4. It boosts your creativity.
Feeling demotivated lately? Have trouble focusing at work? Hit the beach. Research shows that being in a blue environment allows you to clear your head and approach problems in a creative way. Similar to meditation, the beach can ignite a feeling of stillness; allowing you to shut out everything else and focus on yourself.
So grab the SPF and pack a picnic basket, because it’s time to head to the beach! (Not only will wearing sunscreen protect you from skin cancer, but an Aussie study found it keeps you looking youthful like no other product.)