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Feeling Blue? Blue Spaces Can Help

"We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what's broken." - Biologist Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind

The BlueHealth programme, lead by The University of Exeter did a study to find out the importance of blue spaces for our mental health.

The results?

Hearing ocean waves has beneficial restorative powers for humans.

Being outdoors is known to decrease anger and depressive moods, but when someone combines outdoor time with being by water, they can feel extremely refreshed and restored, and ready to take on life.

“A large percentage of our population live close to either inland waterways or coastal margins, and research has shown these environments could help us tackle major public health challenges such as physical inactivity and poorer mental health.” - Dr Lewis Elliott, environmental psychologist at the University of Exeter

The study showed that people who live near blue spaces – natural or manmade – have increased innovation and insight.

Another study by the same program, in partnership with The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) also found that “Evidence linked walking in the blue environment with positive wellbeing and improved moods”.

Walking already has many health and wellness benefits, such as increased creativity and decreased anxiety, so if you add walking with being near a blue space, it creates maximum benefits for the human body and mind.

Some argue that walking near blue spaces may even lower blood pressure!

Even if you don’t have access to a body of water, just hearing a recording of waves can have mental health benefits.

Next time you need a mental health break, try listening to a recording of waves or head to your nearest body of water for some r & r, and feel the effects for yourself!


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