Neuroscientists find the Beach is Good for Your Brain

At peace by the ocean

Photo Credit: Matt Hardy

A number of neuroscientists from around the globe are reaching the same conclusion: people who spend time near the ocean feel better, both physically and mentally.

Researchers at Kobe University, in Japan, found that people who lived in homes with an ocean view had a higher positive outlook than those who did not have an ocean view.  The numbers increased significantly in participants over the age of 60, with greater feelings of well-being.

Researchers in the UK found similar results after census data taken in 2013 showed people living near the coast reported feeling better even when accounting for factors such as physical activity.

Blue Mind

They've even given a label to the effect calling it 'Blue Mind', which is the the friendly term for the positive effect being near bodies of water can have on mental health and happiness.  The presence of water draws us into a meditative state, which is an antidote to the 'red mind' which is anxious, and over-stimulated - our new normal.

Benefits of Spending Time by the Ocean

There are other factors besides the meditative effects of the ocean.  Getting regular sunshine provides vitamin D, which has been shown to benefit mood.  And negative ions in the air have been studied for their ability to reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Neuroscientists are continuing to study the effects of the ocean.  In the meantime, stop by any body of water while you are out, for the perfect antidote to your busy day.

 

  • Environment
  • Well-being