Improve Your Mental Health by Being near the Sea

Improve Your Mental Health by Being near the Sea

Going on a holiday, especially during the summer, you will often choose a location that is near to a body of water. The feeling of taking a walk on a sandy beach, hearing the sound of the waves coming to the shore, cannot be compared to anything in life.

Recently, it was confirmed that being near the sea might actually improve your mental health. As you can imagine, this research might represent the foundation on which future city planning will take place. Let us find out more information on the subject.

Can mental health be improved just by being near the sea?

We have all taken at least a walk by the sea or the ocean, taking in the salty air and feeling relaxed upon touching the sand. However, recent research has taken the connection between humans and bodies of water to a whole new level, suggesting that living in a location close to the sea might actually benefit mental health.

The research was undertaken by the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), in partnership with Michigan State University (USA). The main idea was to analyze the residents of Wellington (New Zealand), in relation with visible blue/green spaces. The blue spaces referred to bodies of water, such as the sea or the ocean (beach included), while the green ones included parks, forests and other similar spaces. This research might have provided an answer to one of the oldest questions out there: how to live a healthy lifestyle? By the sea, ocean or any other body of water!

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and quite an urbanized city; however, it remains at a close distance from two large bodies of water, meaning the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The study concentrated on finding a connection between people who lived in residences with ocean views and the quality of their mental health. Even though you might be tempted to say that it is the proximity to the open air that guarantees the positive mental health, the study actually confirmed that it was only the blue space proximity that offered such benefits.

And what about the green space? Why did it not offer the same benefits to nearby residents? According to the researchers involved in the study, the bodies of water were 100% natural, without any human involvement. As for the green spaces that were included as part of the study, these included not only natural areas, such as forests, but also areas developed by humans, such as parks, playgrounds and sport fields. The authors considered that, in order to truly reveal the effects of green space visibility on a person’s mental health, one would have to analyze only native forests (excluding man-made areas).

Why are the results of this study so important?

We live in a world where mental health has become more and more fragile. Most people deal with huge amounts of stress on a daily basis, requiring supplements for brain health. Spending all your days in the city, you might feel oppressed and anxious; we need to be in the open outdoors and especially near a body of water. The more time we spend by the sea, ocean or any other body of water, the better our mental status is going to be and we will experience less stress and anxiety.

The results of the study are also important in the context of global urbanization. More and more natural areas are destroyed, in order to make room for developing cities, affecting the entire future of our species. Such studies draw attention to the fact that urban planning should take into account the importance of blue spaces, in order to guarantee an improved level of physical and mental health for nearby residents.

The higher the levels of blue space visibility, the lower the psychological distress experienced by nearby residents. So, you see, it is not enough to see nature from a close distance; you have to see a body of water and be able to take a walk by the sea or the ocean, in order to enjoy a positive state of mental health. The researchers involved in the study are going to continue with their research, in order to determine whether blue space visibility might offer the same benefits in other cities or not.

Conclusion

You would not expect to be a connection between mental health and blue spaces visibility but the research undertaken by these specialists is only the first step in confirming our affinity for the ocean. When people live near a body of water and they have the opportunity to enjoy its salty air, they enjoy better health, both physical and mental. This leaves urban planners with a very important mission and that is to create cities that have both green and blue space visibility, in order to guarantee the best state of health for current and future residents.

References:

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-practical-ways-to-better-yourself/

http://www.thinkhealthmag.com/5-fatal-effects-of-being-lonely-which-are-harmful-to-health/

Daisy Grace

Daisy Grace

She is a US native and a professional women’s health expert. She is passionate about health, fitness and beauty and has been working as a freelance content writer for many online websites. She loves to write about different issues related to women’s physical as well as health conditions. Recently, she is researching beauty and skin care problems.

2 Comments

  1. sanjana says:

    very nice and useful post

  2. Kari says:

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least. My husband and I love the sea, and we get there as much as we can. We’ve always wanted to move there because it is where we are happiest – always. We just had a two-day vacation in a cottage by the sea and even though it was only two days, it was the happiest we’ve been in a while. And, the people in the little town we were staying in were all happy as well. Thankfully I’m getting back there in about a month. I’m happier just thinking about the fact that I’ll be by the sea soon!