Now that summer is finally here, many in San Diego take advantage of the beautiful beach. Did you know spending time by the ocean can be great for your mental health? Sunshine, ocean sounds, and fresh air can create an excellent combination, boosting your mood. This article covers why you should consider spending time taking advantage of the great Pacific.
What Are Blue Spaces?
Spending time in nature can positively affect people’s mental and physical health. Researchers have been studying “green spaces” and “blue spaces” to see how they can help individuals be healthier. Green spaces are areas with trees, grasses, and gardens. Blue spaces include oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds.
There have been more studies on green spaces than blue spaces, but researchers are starting to take notice of the healing nature of oceans and lakes and why they might be necessary for urban planning. So far, studies show that blue spaces have been linked to reduced mortality rates and increased well-being. Blue spaces can also promote physical activity. A decrease in physical activity has become a problem because people are moving toward a more sedentary lifestyle, which negatively affects physical health.
Water and Its Healing Power
Blue spaces have also been linked to restoration, including improvement in anxiety, stress, and depressed mood. This positive increase in a person’s mental health can lower the chances of cardiovascular disease. Reduced stress can also be significant to someone healing from addiction. Spending time by the ocean can help relieve these symptoms that could lead to relapse.
Sunshine and Mental Health
During the cold and dark months of the year, people tend to have less energy. The lack of sunshine in the cold months can affect those with depression and seasonal affective disorder the most. In general, lack of sun has been linked to low cognitive function. A lack of sun exposure can also affect your brain’s ability to release chemicals like melatonin and serotonin.
Melatonin affects your brain’s sleep schedule. At night, your brain release melatonin to induce sleep. You might feel more tired with less energy if you aren’t exposed to sufficient sunshine. Serotonin is the brain chemical that makes you feel more emotionally stable. Sun exposure can help your body know when to release these chemicals, improving your mood.
Relaxing Beach Sounds
It’s common for people to listen to ocean sounds when they want to relax. They might listen to a playlist before bed or while meditating. It’s also common for people to practice mindfulness exercises such as yoga or tai chi on the beach, as the environment can put you in a calmer headspace. Water sounds can lower stress levels for some people, making it easier to focus on meditation or fall asleep.
It’s Away From Pollution
If you live in an urban environment, you’re probably all too familiar with the different kinds of pollutants you are exposed to. Air, noise, and light pollution can become toxic, affecting your mental and physical health. Spending time at the beach is a common way to get away from pollution for a while. During the Victorian Era, spending time at the beach became popular activity while others escaped London pollution during leisure time.
Things are a lot quieter by the beach than in the city. It’s also a lot cooler by the coast too. The water temperature of the ocean affects the air nearby. The city also tends to be hotter due to blacktop heat coming from roads.
Social Interaction on the Beach
The beach also allows you to be around other people. Spending the day on the beach with friends and family can create fun and exciting memories. There’s plenty to do on the beach, like walking along the shores, checking the tide pools for sea creatures, surfing, swimming, and even playing a game of beach volleyball. Beaches and other bodies of water can be integral parts of the community. Spending time around people can lift your mood and make you feel less alone.
Spending Time With Yourself and the Ocean
You don’t even have to hang out with people by the ocean to have fun. Spending time with yourself and the sea can be a meditative and powerful experience. Sometimes alone time can be a great form of self-care. The Pacific is an enormous body of water filled with a lot of life and power that stretches to Hawaii, Australia, and the coasts of Asia. Being alone in nature can be a peaceful experience. Take a book to the beach, or walk along the shores.
Spending time by the ocean can be a perfect way to enjoy a summer day. The sea can be a healing experience for your mental and physical health. Blue spaces are an excellent place for restoration, which is an essential part of the recovery process. There’s plenty to do by the ocean. Walk along the shores and pick up seashells. Meditate to the sounds of the waves. Play beach volleyball with your friends. Take up surfing as a new exercise. Read a book under a beach umbrella. Lift your mood by taking in the abundant sunshine.
Villa Oasis San Diego is located right off the sunny coast of the great Pacific Ocean. We are blessed to be near such a powerful, healing, and beautiful body of water. Why not take advantage of this natural, awe-inspiring resource? To learn more, call us at (323) 739-8673.