Being Close to Water Makes Us Happier

A new book with the unwieldy title, Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, is a scientific study that takes readers on a journey that is forever leading back to water – because, as the author argues – it is subconsciously where we want to be.

A love of the ocean and other bodies of water is common enough, but to suggest that being close to water makes our lives better in every single way should be enough to set the landlocked on edge. Blue Mind, however, is not an attack on drier climes as much as it is an appeal to everyone to get closer to water in whatever ways we can.

So, here are four ideas for folks who aren’t quite in a position to buy that house on the beach just yet:

1. Pools / Hot Tubs  

In the book, the topic of water and isolation are recurring themes; the way a person is insulated by water when it acts to put a liquid barrier between the swimmer and the rest of the world. In this way, submersing oneself is a kind of meditation – perhaps even a return to the womb.

Plus, pools and hot tubs are just plain fun without getting into all that metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

2. Art

Further study found in the book’s pages reveals that even images of water work wonders on the human brain. The effect may be diluted, so to speak, but pictures of water nevertheless have a tendency to calm jagged nerves and ease anxiety.

Paintings, photography and sculpture are just a few examples of how you can capture the waves without actually hitting the beach.

3. Fountains

The sound of water also plays a part in the experience and Blue Mind wasn’t the first to explore this aspect of water’s power. Flowing water has long been utilized in Eastern meditation and even Western medicine to bring about a sense of peace.

Indoor or outdoor, the quiet burble of a fountain adds a new, active dimension to décor that most people find soothing.

4. Nautical Décor

Lighthouses, seashells, gulls, boating bric-a-brac and the go-to blue and white paint scheme can make you feel closer to the ocean no matter where you are. Of course, this is one step removed from the visual or aural representation of water, but association is a powerful tool and your mind may be willing to make the leap.

If a little bit of water goes a long way to making us healthier and happier, then hopefully these décor ideas will help buoy your spirits when the waterfront seems too far away.

"Beach Access" from Evergreen Enterprises is a 3 ft. by 2ft. print presented in wood and canvas that evokes thoughts of visits to the ocean.

This water wall from Adagio Water Features is crafted of natural stone and brings the sight and sound of serene, burbling creeks to any part of the home.

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