Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach? Lying on warm sand while you listen to the waves crash against the shore—is there anything more relaxing? According to research, a visit to the beach can actually help to restore some of your health and wellness.
In fact, people have been relying on the restorative properties of the beach for centuries. In history, the beach was often prescribed to treat a number of maladies. In the eighteenth century, British physicians believed that the shock of cold water on the system stimulated the body, improving circulation and reducing the size of cancerous tumors.
We now know that cold water does nothing of the sort and is actually more likely to make you sick after prolonged exposure, but they had other reasons for sending their patients to the beach. They believed it could solve cases of melancholy, heat stroke, weakness, and respiratory conditions. The sea air could seemingly do wonders for a patient’s spirits and their breathing.
Our view on the way that the ocean can restore the body is much different now than it was in the past, but physicians are still making connections with the beach and improved health. Research suggests that the sea air helps people breathe easier. The fresh, blue space is also considered a kind of healing for the mind. The beach isn’t used as a prescription for better health, but the health benefits of such a trip are certainly present.
You owe it to yourself to take a beach vacation this summer. When you do, you’ll find yourself privy to several of these science-backed benefits.
You don’t need science to tell you that the serene view of blue water and a pink sunset is enough to make you feel a little calmer. Even looking at a picture of such a view can have a profound influence on your ability to relax.
In fact, according to a study on the human brain’s response to beautiful scenic pictures, coastal images activate the brain’s reward systems. This region of the brain triggers feelings of happiness and wellness. If a picture of a beach can create this reaction, imagine what a visit to the real thing can do.
There are many ways that a trip to the beach can relieve stress. First of all, it gives you a moment to detach from your stressful, urbanized lifestyle. Research shows that the vast majority of American employees are stressed at work. A calm walk along the beach or even a refreshing swim can put you in a more mindful state, lowering stress levels and reducing your propensity for anxiety.
The same study mentioned above, along with many others, states that the benefits of visiting the beach leads to reduced stress levels. A beach vacation could be exactly what you need to lighten your burdens.
A tired mind is a symptom of stress, being stifled in your routine, overworking yourself, and not spending enough time doing what you love. It’s difficult to develop creativity when you’re stuck in a daily rut.
One study observed the cognitive response of students whose dorm rooms faced buildings vs. students whose rooms faced water, such as a lake or the ocean. The result showed that students who had a water view were more focused in class and able to think more critically in situations.
Another study comprising more than 22,000 participants revealed that people who lived near a body of water were 5.2 percent happier than those living with only dry land in view. It goes to show that water, in any form, can make you happier. A visit to the ocean could warrant the same results.
Gives Your Brain a Rest
The brain needs a break every now and then, but it doesn’t always get it when you’re working, taking care of other responsibilities, and lacking on sleep. The ocean delivers a kind of natural under-stimulation that allows the brain a respite from daily tension.
Ocean sounds are incredibly calming, as is the color blue. Being near the water can induce a kind of meditative state that allows you to relax and enjoy yourself more fully.
So, according to science, you need a beach vacation. It provides restoration and peace that can help you return to work with full vigor. This summer, take advantage of the many beautiful beaches in our world, and let your brain get some much needed rejuvenation.