7 Easy Ways to Reconnect with Water (The Elixir of Life)
The stress epidemic in 2020-21 is growing.
Have you ever spent time in nature, near a lake or the sea?
Then afterwards, you feel refreshed and renewed.
Ready to take on the world.
Spending time IN or NEAR water can shift our perception – for the better.
In the 19th century, Victorian doctors prescribed “sea air” to their patients.
But how does spending time near water translate in our modern world?
In this article, we’ll explore “the blue mind state” that induces calm, 7 easy ways to reconnect with water, “blue mind” vs “red mind” and evidence-based science exploring how water bodies impact our health.
Health Benefits of Being In/ Near Wateron
Writers, poets, painters and sailors will tell you about the calming effects of being near the sea. Just gazing out to the ocean induces a meditative state. In 2018 researchers at the University of Exeter discovered that sounds of the ocean can reduce stress and induce feelings of calmness. The Blue Health Initiative developed a “digital seashell app” for Mental Health Awareness week (14 –20 May) to allow people to reconnect to the ocean from any location.
The Blue Health 2020 initiative is a European research organisation that researches the effect that large bodies of water have on health and wellbeing. They’re currently studying how exposure to the sea impacts health – to pinpoint specific factors that make water so soothing. Both greenspace and living close to the coast have been found to improve health and wellbeing.
“Blue Mind” Science vs “Red Mind” Science?
Being in a “blue mind” means being in a state of calm. Where you experience happiness and satisfaction in the present moment. As Ekhart Tolle would say “being in the now.” Being near to or immersed in water induces this state.
Conversely, the “red mind” state is over-stimulated, anxious, busy, and worried. The accepted norm of modern life.
The Health Benefits of Seas, Rivers and Lakes
Water is essential for survival on planet earth. Covering 70% of the earth’s surface, plus 73% of our brain and heart, and over 70% of our bodies are water. Humans respond and adapt to their surrounding environment, especially nature. There’s a deep biological connection that can be felt when we are in, or near water.
Rivers and lakes provide easy access to water in urban areas. Allowing people who are living in “red mind” zones to unplug and reconnect with nature. According to one American Psychological Association Report (APA), a massive 90% of young adults are addicted to technology. To counteract the stress produced by living intertwined with technology, we can take a bath, have a shower, swim or visit lakes, waterfalls, rivers or fountains.
Why Are Lakes & Rivers Important For Health?
Spending too much time indoors, glued to our phones and pcs dulls the mind. Whereas visiting lakes and spending time in nature flips the switch from a “red mind” state to a “blue mind” state.
Visiting open green spaces and large bodies of water (like lakes or rivers) enhances focus and lifts the mood.
Science has shown that simply looking at images of lakes, oceans or large green expanses induce a feeling of calm. One study led by Michael Depledge and environmental psychologist Matt White from the University of Exeter looked at how we respond to images of lakes and rivers. Building on the groundbreaking work that Roger Ulrich did in exploring how green space impacts health. They discovered that the simple act of looking at images of nature promoted health.
“Images with green space received a positive response, as Ulrich has found. But images with both green and blue got the most favourable response of all.”
– Michael Depledge
Take a Staycation/ Holistay
Taking a bath or a shower is a great way to immerse yourself in water. Relieving the worries of the day. When showering, your senses are soothed, there’s no input, all you smell, feel and hear is water. Further the health benefits by adding magnesium or Epsom salts to your bathwater.
Let Water Be Your Teacher (Flow Like Water)
Albert Einstein famously had his best ideas when sailing, his mind was calm and open when he was floating on the sea. Einstein was one with nature when sailing, and could easily comprehend the principles of physics. Likewise, Abraham Loeb, chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University says that his best ideas come to him when he’s in the shower.
Bruce Lee, the Chinese-American martial artist, explains how flowing like water can help you live better:
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
7 Easy Ways to Reconnect with Water (The Elixir of Life)
To take advantage of the many health benefits that water can deliver, you don’t need to go far. Here are seven ways that you can reconnect with the magic of water today:
- Visit large water bodies like rivers, the sea, lakes or fountains
- Take a shower or have a bath
- Go sailing or take up water sports
- Swim in nature
- Look at images of the ocean and open green spaces
- Listen to sounds of the ocean
- Install a water feature in your home
The Bottom Line
Water is the first and best tool to boost health. Without it, there can be no life on earth. Just looking out to sea, or looking at paintings of lakes promotes a feeling of calm. If you want to get