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  • Feeling Down? Studies Say A Trip To The Beach May Be The Secret To Keeping You Happy

    It's called vitamin sea for a reason!
    by Kitty Elicay .
Feeling Down? Studies Say A Trip To The Beach May Be The Secret To Keeping You Happy
PHOTO BY Unsplash
  • Filipinos love the beach. Besides spending time with the family, it is also a nice way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. And, if you ever feel stressed out, don’t you find that being near the water clears your head and keeps you calm?

    That’s because seeing “blue space” — whether it’s the sea, rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, and even fountains — is good for the body and mind.

    According to a recent study, the human brain has a natural inclination to natural environments like oceans, fields, and forests, compared to human-made environments like the busy, noisy city. That’s why researchers found that being close to the water and seeing it often is associated with lower stress levels and better mental health.

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    Another study, which asked 20,000 smartphone users to record their sense of well-being and their immediate environment at random intervals, found that marine and coastal margins were among the best locations where people felt the happiest. Researchers equated it to “the difference between attending an exhibition and doing housework.”

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    Frequent visits to the water are also associated with better general and mental health. Dr. Lewis Elliott from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and BlueHealth, a program researching the health and wellbeing benefits of blue space across 18 (mostly European) countries, tells The Guardian, “We find people who visit the coast, for example, at least twice weekly, tend to experience better general and mental health.”

    He adds, “Some of our research suggests around two hours a week is probably beneficial, across many sectors of society.” Sea views have also been associated with better mental health.

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    According to Dr. Matthew White, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter and an environmental psychologist for BlueHealth, these benefits are reaped based on three things: First, aquatic environments have less polluted air and more sunlight. Second, those who live by the water tend to be more physically active: they walk, cycle, and do water sports.

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    Lastly, water has a psychologically restorative effect. Dr. White tells The Guardian that “spending time in and around aquatic environments has consistently been shown to lead to significantly higher benefits, in inducing positive mood and reducing negative mood and stress.”

    That restorative effect is not bound to bodies of water. If you don’t have time to schedule a beach vacation or a family vacatiion, a visit to an outdoor fountain can provide temporary relief.

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    But if you’re feeling particularly distressed, Catherine Kelly, a geographer and wellness practitioner suggests going to the beach to meditate. She tells The Guardian that the sea has a meditative quality, “whether it is crashing or still, or you are in the water, or observing from the shore.”

    She adds, “You can immerse yourself in it. You’re present in that moment, you’re looking at something with intention, and whether that’s for two minutes or half an hour, it gives you the benefits in that moment.”

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    Did you know that going to the beach is good for baby's brain, too? Click here for all the benefits your little one can get from being in the water!

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