Just in case you needed another reason to plan a family getaway to the beach, now you have science on your side. While taking your kids to the beach isn’t exactly relaxing for parents, the health benefits of being near the water definitely outweigh the extra effort of chasing your kids in the sand. From helping to reduce your stress levels, to inspiring creativity, here’s how science says going to the beach is good for your brain.
Being near water like an ocean, lake or river, has positive effects on our happiness and well-being. Just think about sitting on the beach and seeing and hearing the waves crash on the sand. Just conjuring that image in my mind relaxes me. So just imagine how much better you’ll feel if you were actually there!
According to one study, exposure to blue space–which is any body of water– will reduce your stress and helps to put you in a meditative state. The sound of waves has been found to alter our brain wave patterns so that we feel more relaxed. Just watching moving water has calming effects. Combine the sounds and views at the beach, and being near water can lower anxiety and stress and helps us sleep better at night. So I’ll feel better and sleep better? Excuse me while I go book a beach vacay right now.
If you get some of your best ideas in the shower, imagine how creative you’ll be near an ocean or lake. Marine Biologist, Wallace J. Nichols tells Huffington Post being near the water can help inspire our creativity. “The shower is a proxy for the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean,” says Nichols. “You step in the shower, and you remove a lot of the visual stimulation of your day. Auditorially, it’s the same thing — it’s a steady stream of ‘blue noise.’ You’re not hearing voices or processing ideas. You step into the shower and it’s like a mini-vacation.”
Since we are always so busy, we often don’t allow our minds to wander, but being near water allows us to feel more relaxed and to “turn our brains off.” During that time, Nichols says we find inspiration and creativity.
So if you are feeling uninspired, pack your bags because it’s time for a trip to the beach.