Last updated on July 26, 2019.
Have you ever been by the ocean and experienced a state of mind so peaceful that you still remember it? Do you sometimes wonder what it is about the seaside that makes you feel refreshed on so many levels? According to research, it is shown that the ocean can be a sanctuary for us, and can even reduce the chances of depression. Here are a few interesting facts we found out:
The visual and aural aspects of blue spaces
It seems like stating the obvious, but just seeing an ocean view and hearing the sounds of water brings a calming effect that contributes to better our mental health. A local study in Hong Kong found that citizens simply living near blue spaces had higher numbers of good self-reported health. Actually, regular visits as short as 10-15 minute walks, were sufficient to showcase fewer reports of depression in elderly citizens. There are even audios online of ocean sounds that people listen to, to try to relax and sleep better. Perhaps you can consider taking a walk by the water, or take a trip on a ferry whenever possible, to allow yourself to engage with the waters that surround Hong Kong.
Negative ions bring positive effects
There are naturally positive and negative charged ions in the air; positive charged ions are commonly recognised as “free radicals,” which are often associated to cause imbalance in our bodies, leading to diseases such as cancer. On the other hand, negative charged ions, which tend to be more abundant in nature, especially near waterfalls, the ocean, or after a storm, are believed to bring positive effects to the body by stimulating the body’s production of serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone that alleviates stress and depression, and energizes us during the day. When we head to blue spaces, we increase our interactions with these negative ions, to bring a positive effect to our moods!
Ocean breeze helps with insomnia
Other than having higher amounts of negatively charged ions, the ocean also has a higher amount of oxygen present; the increase in uptake of negative ions supposedly helps to maximise our uptake of oxygen in the bloodstream. Having a better source of oxygen from the fresher and cleaner air by the seaside can help us to relax more deeply, yielding a better quality of sleep.
It is said that our brains are hardwired to associate serenity to water. When we are by the water, we feel like we are in a space, physically and mentally, allowing contemplation into our lives and ourselves. It enables us to step out from our everyday routines, to process areas of thoughts that we normally may not have to time to become engaged in. It is also during this time, when we are biologically in a more relaxed state, that we feel more inspired to tune into our creativity, giving us new ideas and inspirations – serving our work or to be expressed artistically.
Engage us in physical activities
When we spend time by blue spaces, we are more likely to participate in some sort of physical activity. It could be walks on the beach, hiking to see a waterfall, or swimming or surfing in the ocean. When we bring ourselves to locations that motivate us to be more physically active, we are contributing to our health and wellbeing.
Ocean salts – a natural antiseptic
You may have heard of dead sea mud masks at spas and the feature of algae as a skincare product ingredient. These are all sourced from the ocean! When we swim in the ocean, our skin interacts with minerals such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, chloride and many more, which naturally have an antiseptic effect for our skin. This effect is said to be helpful to minimise skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, and can also contribute to the healing of acne.
Living in a place like Hong Kong can be intense and make us feel stressed and restricted. With blue spaces bringing so many benefits for our wellbeing, why not try to explore our surrounding waters.
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