You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get the concept of ‘Blue Therapy’. Many of us do this unconsciously when we seek holidays near the coast.
We go in search of those peaceful and calming sights and sounds, like waves lapping on a beach, a cool sea breeze on a hot summer day and sunshine glistening on a bright blue ocean.
The known benefits of spending time in nature are not new, in fact people in the Victorian era were often prescribed sea air treatment to aid in recovery for all sorts of ailments. Port Elliot in South Australia was one such place where returned World War 1 veterans were sent to relax and recuperate.
Anytime spent is nature is good for our health and wellbeing, and different ideas to soak up these benefits come up all the time, one concept being forest bathing. This is pretty much spending time in forests and green spaces and the calming effects that it has on body and mind. Lately though, scientific research (from New Scientist magazine Australia), is showing that Blue Therapy, or time spent near water might give us even more benefits.
Evidence is now emerging that connecting with nature has significant benefits on memory, creativity and more, while aiding sleep, and reducing anxiety and depression. Again, this is something that we’ve all felt or know deep down, but perhaps have never really thought why it happens.
One of the reasons, is that nature has a way of capturing our attention involuntary, which gives our thinking mind a rest. For instance, time spent watching a sunset or trees swaying in the breeze do just that.
Time spent near blue spaces, particularly by the coast, is best for this because of the changes in sound and light as well. Tides coming in and out, sun reflection on the water and wave sounds all divert our attention from specific thoughts, including negative ones.
Next time you’re planning a getaway by the coast, consider it a tonic for your health and wellbeing and if you want to slow down and feel even more connected to your surroundings, try actively beachcombing for shells, spotting birds or wildlife and capturing the moments and things you see in photographs.