How Going To The Beach Benefits Your Brain

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul.” This quote by American artist Robert Wyland, who is best known for his 100 Whaling Walls murals, speaks volumes to the natural beauty of the sea. Being an ocean baby myself, I often find that I benefit from visiting the sea or spending the day walking along the shoreline. Of course, I cannot be the only one who has benefitted from going to the beach. Luckily, I am not. With some help from science and conducted studies, here is a list of how going to the beach can benefit your brain and your state of mind overall. 

1. Puts You Into A Mild Meditative State

Nothing says spending a day of tranquility and stillness than a day well-spent at the beach. Of course, that is what we all experience while bathing in the sun as our toes rub against the damp sand. Yet, underneath the surface of our skin, the human mind is being transcended into a state of musing. According to Christina Heiser, a writer for NBC News, watching the ocean changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts the human mind into a mild meditative state. More so, according to psychologists, as you listen to the waves of the sea, your parasympathetic nervous system becomes activated, which is primarily responsible for allowing both our bodies and minds to feel more relaxed and engaged. 

2. Gives A Sense Of Emotional Well-Being

We have all heard and read poets, writers, artists, and sailors attest to the overwhelming sense of happiness, joy, peace, and sincerity they experience when being at sea or on the shoreline. As strange as it may sound, there is a science behind the extraordinary attraction we all feel towards the open blue. According to journalist Barry Yeoman, the ocean’s waves generate negative ions, charged air particles that have been linked to mental energy and emotional well-being. Think of it like how Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, describes his interpretation of listening to the ocean’s waves. “It’s like they’re saying: ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry.'” 

3. Relieves Levels Of Stress And Anxiety

It comes as no surprise that being near or at the ocean, and spending the day at the beach, does wonders for your constant stressed mind. However, like all other things listed above, there is a science to the instant relief to our constantly troubled minds. Maura Donovan states the science behind the ocean’s impression, which, as I mentioned above, has the effect of listening and gazing at the waves. Now, combine that effect with the warmth of the sun and dampened sand. That alone is enough to make any person leave their stress, worries, and troubles behind them. Okay, maybe there is not a clear science behind this effect that the ocean has on us, but you have to admit that I’m not wrong. There is always more to going to the beach than just lounging on a towel and trying not to get burned as you tan.

4. Helps Repair The Body

Going to the beach can do more than just put you to sleep with the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, calm your nerves as you bury your soles in the warm sand, or bask you in all the sun’s glory. It can help heal and repair your physical body, too. We all know that saltwater can help heal open and flesh wounds. Maintaining significantly high levels of minerals (sodium, iodine, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and sulfate), ocean water is considered to be an antiseptic, meaning that it has wound-healing properties. However, not everyone knows that it also has a saline effect on the body’s sinuses. It cleanses and helps flush out nasal cavities, as well as reduce inflammation. Also, according to Sage, a writer for Tree Tribe, the cold ocean benefits the body by improving immunity and aiding muscle recovery. This is no surprise, especially since cold water helps your body to repair itself and reduce swelling in the body. Could there be any more reasons why going to the beach is everyone’s favorite summer pick? 

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5. Improves Health and Slows Aging

When going to the beach, feeling the sand rub against and in between my toes is something to which I always look forward. Upon walking barefoot on the shore, you cannot help but feel grounded to the earth — an experience I think we all can relate to. When you walk along the sandy shoreline, you are absorbing all the electrons it has to offer. According to MyVacationHaven, this action helps to neutralize the destructive free radicals in your body, which helps to slow aging. Talk about the ultimate age serum or remedy.

6. Balances Your Serotonin Levels

When going to the beach, you cannot help but be filled with the saltwater air. It fills you up to the brim like a freshly poured Guinness Draught. It gets to the point that no matter how long you inhale and hold your breath, sooner or later, you will begin to taste the air dancing on your tongue. According to Victoria Lambert, a writer for The Telegraph, fresh ocean air is filled with negative ions, which are oxygen ions that have an extra electron attached to them. These ions can also help increase your intake of oxygen. This process takes effect and levels our serotonin levels, which is the feel-good neurotransmitter. Not only does this affect us and our brains by making us feel good, but it also helps regulate our natural sleep and wake cycle. Maybe that is why many people find it easier to fall asleep on the beach than on their beds.

Do you enjoy going to the beach? How do you feel when you are there? Have you personally benefitted from going to the beach? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image Source:
Makeila Hofer

"Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers."

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