Want To Beat Stress? Live By The Sea!
Is it really the sea air or just a sense of perspective that makes coastal living so good for you?
Whether you live in Cornwall or are reading this blog as you plan your hols, you probably don’t need much convincing of the feel-good effects of some time by the sea. But we all like having our inklings backed up by science right? A raft of studies in recent years have shown that the sound of the waves, ocean views and time spent outdoors all help to reduce stress and boost mental health. Here are a few of the benefits of coastal living we found* – feel free to add some of your own in the comments…
*I have a very loose grasp of the science, so please don’t ask me to explain them!
The Sound of The Sea
Like white noise can calm a colicky baby, the wooshing sound of waves has been shown to have a similar, lulling effect on the brain and consequently the central nervous system. So chuck out that whale sounds CD and just spend a little time by the sea.
Gazing into the Blue
Studies in New Zealand revealed that looking into an expanse of blue has a calming effect on the mind, making you feel happier and more relaxed (surprisingly this was not the case with green spaces, such as forests or grassy parks). So the sea is good for you, even if you just sit and stare at it. With a bottle of Lushingtons or am I pushing my luck?
Sea Air For A Good Night’s Sleep
The Victorians were on to something! It has something to do with negative ions and oxygen absorption as I understand but plenty of bracing sea air has been shown to aid a good night’s sleep. Purely anecdotal – but whenever we have guests to stay from up country, they remark on how well they sleep here.
Active Outdoor Living
When the beautiful beaches of Cornwall are on your doorstep, you can hardly help but spend more time outdoors. This naturally leads to being more active, even if it’s just walking from the car park over the dunes and we all know regular exercise has a pile of health benefits, like lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression.
For extra brownie points:
Get a Dog
Ok, this one will work wherever you live but it’s magic to see your four-legged friend charging about on the sand. Having a dog is one way to guarantee you’ll get outside and active every day – Cornish mizzle be damned. Docs recommend about half an hour of moderate exercise a day, which you’re way more likely to achieve if you have a dog that wants walking.
Go Sea Swimming
We probably all know someone who braves the sea year round – me I’m just a summer sea swimmer but I may have to revise my position. Regular dips in cold water have been linked to improved immune function. The mild stress of the cold water is thought to stimulate the immune system, helping to increase white blood cell count. Plus mineral-rich seawater can also be healing for those with skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.