The health benefits of living near the water are abundantly clear.
Studies have shown that living near bodies of water, including coasts, rivers and lakes, can lower stress and anxiety and increase an overall sense of well-being and happiness. Additionally, it’s been found that people who live less than a half a mile from the beach are up to 40% less likely to show signs of mental health disorders.
The benefits of living near “blue spaces,” as the researchers call them, offer a chance to escape the hyper-connected state of modern-day life in favor of Mother Nature’s blue serenity. Research has linked people living around these aquatic environments with having increased physical activity, lower psychological distress, better overall health and well-being, as well as lower mortality rates.
Research has long found that humans are pulled toward the water for, in part, its restorative benefits. Travelers seek waterways on vacations, and physicians once prescribed “sea air” as a cure for all sorts of issues.
Moreover, being near water can increase our creativity, including our conversational abilities. But, being near water doesn’t only help us during our waking hours. It can help us in our sleep, too.
Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D. is a marine biologist and the author of “Blue Mind,” a book about the physical and psychological benefits of water. He noted, research proves his theory that being near water can help us all achieve “an elevated and sustained happiness.”
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