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Benefits of Being by Water on the Overall Well-Being

People around the world experience the benefits of living or simply being close to water whether they’re near a river, lake, sea or ocean. Even having a swimming pool or even listening to the soothing trickling sounds of a fountain can have positive effects on people.

Throughout history, most communities have been built near water and it wasn’t just for practical reasons. Humans are naturally drawn to bodies of water and have always felt connected to them. The study of aquatic health benefits, the so-called blue science, is attempting to quantify the positive cognitive and physical effects of water. Their results show that near coasts can improve the sense of health and well-being and contact with water causes a meditative state that makes us feel calmer, happier, healthier and more creative.

Our connection to water

Water is considered to be the source of life. It covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface, but it also makes up nearly 70% of our bodies. This means that it’s also a big part of our brain and heart which creates a deep biological connection that is triggered every time we’re near water.

In fact, the bare sound and sight of water can cause a surge of neurochemicals that promote well-being, increase blood flow to the heart and brain, and induce relaxation. Researchers, urban planners, councils and governments want to implement this knowledge and transform water into a tool that promotes public health. They’re trying to find out how to enhance coastlines, attract more people to rivers and lakes, and reap the benefits that water has on happiness and health. This is also going in the direction of virtual reality – using virtual tools and videos to provoke the same state of serenity that is commonly brought on by being close to water.

The beneficial effect of water

Among the most significant benefits of water, scientists list its antidote properties that can soothe the “red mind” which is a state of anxiety brought on by increased urbanization and almost constant reliance on technology. An American study has shown that just under 50% of all adults and a whopping 90% of young adults have turned into “constant checkers,” using their screens and social media all the time. Due to that, their stress levels have increased even when the gadgets are of.

Spending time in and by oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, streams, waterfalls, pools, fountains, and even showers can reverse the negative impact. Spending time at the beach walking and listening to the waves, booking fishing charters in Narooma, or just enjoying daily swims in the pool can ward off fatigue, anxiety and depression. Almost all of the senses are engaged—sight, hearing, smell, and touch creating a full physical immersion in reality other than the virtual one. But this natural environment makes us feel better, even though it may sometimes seem impossible to many of us to even imagine being off our phones for even a moment.

Proximity and contact with water can also help deal with a dulled effect often termed as “grey mind.” Spending too much time indoors, glaring at screens, consuming news and entertainment, without any physical exercise can lead to fatigue, dissatisfaction, lethargy and lack of motivation. Getting close to water or diving in it can significantly improve your mood.

Even if you live nowhere near a beach, there’s no room for worry. There are plenty of alternatives. For instance, showering can improve your mood, make you feel better and boost creativity and productivity. Your shower acts as a proxy for the large body of water. You step in, let all the water wash down on you and you remove a lot of the visual stimulation and stress of your day. From an audio perspective, it’s the same as you create a steady stream of “blue noise”. There are no outside sounds and nothing to force you to deal with daily problems. You can simply check out as you step in and take a mini-vacation.

Scientists also recommend listening to water sounds to clear the mind. Sounds of water flowing or waves are “white noise” and when that washes over you, it’s similar to meditation that grounds you in the present moment.

Until recently, scientific research has focused primarily on the health benefits of nature overlooking the particularly beneficial role of water, or “blue space”. Spending time outdoors in nature and especially near water so you can enjoy the benefits of its calming effects has become more important than ever as a means of offsetting the stress of modern living and working.


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