We all know how happy the water makes us. Every year, families vacation on lakes, rivers and oceans. You pull into the parking lot, step out of the car, and take a deep breath- you can smell it in the air. You walk over the hill and stand facing that water, and almost immediately your blood pressure regulates, your muscles relax, and you’re feeling pretty good. What is that?
Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and conservationist from California, has dubbed this mildly meditative state as having a “blue mind”. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, our brains- 75%. “So when you see water, when you hear water, it triggers a response in your brain that you’re in the right place,” Nichols said. He’s currently touring, giving seminars on the advantages of water therapy to psychologists and neurosurgeons. You can read more about this concept here and here.
Personally, I couldn’t agree with Mr. Nichols more. Several years ago, Dan and I began making a trip to the beach for Valentine’s Day a tradition. Usually by the end of February, the longing to be near the water is actually, physically painful, so we make a point to go. At the very least, we can go for a nice walk, and he can get some chowder for lunch, maybe stop at my favorite junk shop in Mystic. In some way, it’s nice to hear that there’s a chemical reason for that feeling of calmness.
So what are you waiting for? Get in the car and go touch base with your “blue mind”- let me know how you feel!