This isn’t your first time being told about the benefits of being near water and taking a pause. In fact, hundreds of studies have proven the positive effects from spending time near rivers to living in coastal areas. The world doesn’t stop moving, the Earth continues to rotate 460 m per second - if anything in this world needs to stop and rest, it’s us.
A study in 2013 on “Happiness is greater in natural environments”:
Shows that people are significantly happier outdoors in natural habitat types than they are in urban environments, with marine and coastal environments found to be one of the happiest environments.
Don’t live near the coast? Don’t worry.
Another study in 2010 shows that images of built environments containing water (even a fountain!) were rated just as positively as green spaces, which suggests that the associated soundscape and the quality of light on water may be enough to have a restorative effect on us.
Not a fan of beaches or the sea? No problem - even a shower can help. Even just stepping into the shower removes lots of visual stimulation from your day, and it serves as “blue noise” just like any other natural body of water. Showering gives your mind a break, so see it as a mini vacation where no thoughts are troubling you!
Listening to the sound of water washing over you, whether it's from a guided meditation video or trickling stream beside your home helps the binaural system in our bodies. It creates a safe space for us, which:
Allows us to slow down our breathing
Slows down our heart rate
Discover the hidden senses in our bodies and activate them
Provides healing effects
Imagine sitting in the middle of the woods: birds chipping, rivers trickling, leaves rustling. In fact, many Japanese practice “shinrin-yoku '', which basically means forest bathing. A term emerged in Japan during the 1980s, many still head to forests for a therapeutic session till this day. After all, spending time in nature not only improves your mental wellbeing but also your physical health. (such as a stronger immune system)