Rolling ocean. Placid lake. Babbling creek. Just by reading the words, each of these bodies of water can conjure feelings inside of us. No matter where thoughts of water take us – whether basking on a beach, jet skiing behind a boat, or hiking through lush mountains – there is a common thread here. Spending time by the water leaves us feeling rested, recharged, soothed, and restored.
Turns out, there’s science behind this collective feeling. According to researchers, our minds are sent into a restful, almost hypnotic, place when we experience the soothing smells and sounds of water — or “blue spaces,” as scientists call them). The reason? There’s a natural de-stressing effect from the negative ions in water.
If we think about it, the naturally occurring effects of water on our senses make sense. Imagine gazing out over the ocean. No doubt, you become instantly reminded of how vast this world is, and how insignificant many of our day-to-day irritations are by comparison.
Scientists believe further research on blue spaces will show that time spent in water actually boosts our mental health. Particularly, scientists exploring whether being around bodies of water can help decrease depression, alleviate anxiety, boost creativity, and shift our overall perspective on life.
Based on the benefits of being in blue space, it seems clear that if your home base is landlocked, it’s time to start planning a family trip somewhere close to water. Take into account that other research has shown family vacations have long-lasting positive effects on kids’ happiness levels, and you have a win-win.