Home Education How the Beach Benefits Your Brain

How the Beach Benefits Your Brain

I think we can all agree that we are pretty lucky to live in Pensacola and have one of the most beautiful beaches right in our own backyard. Are you taking advantage of it though? And I’m not talking about taking an entire day and hauling your entire life’s belongings down to the sand. All you need is 15-20 minutes and yourself to really benefit from the sound of ocean waves, the smell of salt water, and the feeling of warm sand beneath your toes. Okay, okay  when you factor in drive time, we’ll call it an hour, but still quick enough for your lunch break.

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Today’s beautiful day had me craving 20 minutes in the sunshine, and what better way to do that than head over our new beautiful bridge to the the white sand and emerald water. Instantly feeling refreshed in such a short time, I wondered why exactly and here’s what I found out.

The sound of the crashing waves

The constant whooshing sounds of the waves hitting the sand brings a sense of comfort and calmness to our brain. Why? Something called ‘acoustic camouflage’ — the constant, passive sound of the ocean drowns out other noises and distractions and helps to clear our minds of anxieties. Basically, your sound machine has an ocean option because it can help you achieve a meditative state, which is proven to heal and strengthen your brain.

The shades of blue

Studies have shown that different colors often produce different psychological, emotional, and physical effects. The color blue, for instance, is often used in marketing material to convey a sense of calmness. Studies have actually shown that simply staring out to sea can change our brain wave frequency, luring us into a mild meditative state.

The ocean air

When you first step out on the sand and allow your lungs to be filled with salty misty air, your brain may be receiving instant benefits. The negative ions (oxygen ions with an extra electron attached, produced via water molecules) in the ocean air can actually help calm your brain. Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed the sargassum grass stays at bay so we can breathe easy without the smell.

Your toes in the sand

Ever tried grounding or earthing? It’s a therapeutic technique that focuses on realigning your electrical energy by reconnecting to the earth. Walking barefoot has been proven to have a number of stimulating benefits to our bodies and minds. Our feet contain a network of acupuncture points and are able to absorb free ions on the earth surface, the same way that our lungs are able to absorb ions in the air.

So while the weather is absolute perfection this week, see if you can spare an hour to calm your brain. To make it clear, here is me not telling you to ditch your therapist, but to simply add a practice to your self-care routine and see how it treats your brain.