Blue mind science – Why water can have a positive impact on our mental health
We have evolved to view colours in a certain way. Red, for example, is always seen as the colour of danger or excitement, whereas green is natural, and brown is ‘organic’ and rustic. Blue, has always been the colour of calm and tranquillity and that’s probably due to its undeniable link to water.
There’s a reason why we’re always going to judge a beach on the softness of its sand and how blue its shoreline is – blue is a soft, comforting colour and water is something we all need and seek comfort in.
Why else do you think it’s so relaxing not only to go for a swim in a freshly cleaned swimming pool but to simply relax with a book by the side of that pool?
Simply being close to water can have an incredibly positive impact on your mental wellbeing.
Built by the water
Throughout history, communities have been built close to bodies of water for a multitude of reasons: for drinking water, fishing, transport, commerce, and more practical reasons. But there is also the simple fact that we’re drawn to this deep blue space.
There’s a call that many people feel to the water that has been put into words and pictures by various authors, poets and artists over the years. But it’s the scientists that have been able to finally ascertain exactly what it is about water that brings us better physical and mental health.
The science part
It covers around 70% of the surface of the Earth and makes up almost 70% of our bodies so there is a deep, primal biological connection to water that’s impossible to ignore.
It’s this connection that has been proven to generate positive responses in our brains when we’re close to bodies of water or even experience the sights and sounds of it.
This is a seed of inquiry that’s been developed more profoundly by the EU’s Blue Health 2020 project, which aims to further examine the link between urban ‘blue’ spaces, climate and health.
Bringing the water home
Whilst we can’t all afford to live by the sea or a beautiful great lake there are things we can be doing today to ensure we’re making the most of blue mind science, wherever we might live.
Take a break – With lockdown now eased across the UK, it’s the perfect time to book a weekend away to your local seaside resort or even the Lake District.
We spend so much of our lives glued to screens that can lead to something of a grey mind, where everything feels dissatisfying.
Spending even just a weekend by the water can go a long way towards clearing that mental fog.
Improve your drinking water – Installing a drinking water filter in your home will provide you with crystal clear water right out of the tap. Drink 5 or 6 cups of this great tasting, odourless water a day and you’ll soon start to notice the mental health benefits.
Sounds of the sea – It might sound a little silly, but simply by spending some time listening to the sound of running water or the gentle swell of the ocean, you’ll begin to notice a boost in your mood.
Indeed, even looking at images of water can make people feel calmer, so why not listen to some calming water sounds while viewing some water-based imagery?
Water features – Buying a water feature for your garden can be an affordable way to bring a little of the calming blue mind science to your backyard.
Shower more – Finally, simply stepping into a shower can have some incredible benefits. The moment you feel the water cascading over your shoulders and hear the gentle trickle of the water on the floor your mood will immediately improve.
There’s a good reason why so many of us start our days with a shower after all. It can quite literally wash your anxiety away!