I’ve been fortunate enough to live by the water my whole life. I grew up on the East coast, moved to Hawaii during college and then settled on the West coast for the past seven years. I couldn’t imagine not being close to the water because it’s something I’ve become accustomed to and almost a necessity now.
I’ve read about how the water has a calming affect to our psyche and my Dad has always said there’s something about watching the tide roll in that resets our equilibrium.
While I take whatever my Dad tells me to heart (he’s so very wise 🙂 ) and this made sense to me, I wanted to see if there was more to this notion.
Water covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, our bodies are made up of 65% water, and it is something we need to survive even over food. There’s no wonder water is intriguing to us and may have just as much to do with the health of us psychologically as it does physically.
Most can agree when you are in the presence of a body of water, you feel something. You may feel small, you may feel peaceful, and you may even feel emotional in a way you can’t describe. The point is, you feel something, and it is more of a natural response having to do with a part of our brain that responds before any cognitive response occurs. Let’s call this the water effect.
The purpose of this post is not to delve into neuroscience and dissect what those feelings mean. Rather, I simply wish to open your eyes to how incredibly healing and even necessary for health and wellness this water effect can be.
If you live in the middle of the country and it’s impossible to get to any type of water with a current or tide, no worries. There are many ways you can incorporate mindfulness techniques and calming exercises that emulate what it feels like to be in the presence of a majestic body of water.
There are countless apps, CDs, and even sound machines that mimic the sound of waves crashing or rivers rushing over rocks. Water fountains and features are also a great tool that when you close your eyes transport you to any body of water you wish . If you have the means, installing a koi pond or small water feature in your backyard may be worthwhile if it means a place of escape for you and an opportunity to unplug and get in touch with instinctual feelings and reactions to nature.
Whatever it may be, it is important in my opinion to not only get outside and move, but to get outside and listen to birds singing, leaves rustling, water trickling and the energy that all living things on Earth give off to nourish our spirit.
I urge you to do a little experiment with yourself and incorporate some sort of water effect in your week. Whether it’s walking on the beach, listening to a sound machine or sitting by a bubbling fountain a couple times a week, start something. Notice how you are feeling at the end of that week and if stress, anxiety, worry or negativity you have been holding on to lessens.
I am taking full advantage in the New Year to visit the ocean more, take walks outside and be among all nature has to offer to feed this part of my brain and my spirit.