Do you know anyone who does not enjoy sitting near a fountain, a river, the sea? I certainly don’t.
Although my skin, if unprotected, burns within ten minutes in the summer sun, I would love to live by the seaside or failing that near a river or lake. My husband and I have often talked, or more precisely dreamt, of the possibility of a second home on the coast of Normandy.
Given my personal predilection for large bodies of water the scientific findings detailed in this article came as no surprise and it’s always good to understand the why of things.
Blue mind science—the study of aquatic environments’ health benefits—could offer the cure for your blues, for free, wherever you may be.
“People can experience the benefits of the water whether they’re near the ocean, a lake, river, swimming pool or even listening to the soothing sound of a fountain”, Dr. Wallace Nichols, tells Quartz.
It turns out that living by coasts leads to an improved sense of physical health and well-being. And contact with water induces a meditative state that makes us happier, healthier, calmer, more creative, and more capable of awe.
“Water is considered the elixir and source of life. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, makes up nearly 70% of our bodies, and constitutes over 70% of our heart and brains,” says Nichols.
“This deep biological connection has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neuro-chemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation.”
Spending time in and by oceans, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, fountains, wards off the depression and anxiety created by the relatively recent technological changes, according to Nichols. Almost all of the senses are engaged—sight, smell, hearing, and touch, and this physical immersion in reality makes us feel better.
Contact with water also helps counter a dulled effect Nichols terms “gray mind.” Spending too much time inside, glued to screens, consuming news and entertainment, can lead to lethargy, lack of motivation, and dissatisfaction.
Both seeing and getting in, on, or near the water improves moods.
Michael Depledge of the University of Exeter medical school, in the UK, and environmental psychologist Mat White, conducted a wellbeing study involving photos with greenery and water.
They began by showing subjects pictures of green environments slowly adding ponds lakes, and coasts. Subjects preferred environments with water.
“Images with green space received a positive response, as Ulrich has found. But images with both green and blue got the most favourable response of all.”
The intersting conclusion of the study is that:
Just looking at images of water makes people feel calmer.
The images I have included to illustrate this post are from the Seascapes collection that I am launching in my web shop today. It is the first of two Summer Collections and comprises eleven different prints.
The second, a series of abstract landscapes created in the fields around my village, will be launched in mid-July for France’s Fête Nationale.
About My Seascapes Series:
I find the wide horizons of the sea inspiring, both poetic and peaceful, and I photograph the sea at every opportunity.
The images in this collection were shot in: Brighton, UK; the Baie de Somme, France and in Istanbul, Turkey.
From the soft light of Northern Europe to the hazy hot morning in Istanbul, at the instant when I captured these scenes, the weather and the time of day produce very different effects.
These are images that invite contemplation and they will bring calm and peace to your mind and interior decor.
Buy Your Own Seascape Here.