When I think of summer, I associate it with warm days on the beach when you walk by the ocean and play with the waves. Blue skies, sun, fragrant flowers, warm wind and rain, as you walk barefoot on the grass. I remember white dunes, when your bare feet sink into the sand. Berries for breakfast, lunch and dinner, homemade ice cream and ripe tomatoes that I use to make cold tomato soup. All these things are about summer, but I’m about to tell you another thing. Today you will learn about Ocean Therapy.
THE OCEAN MAKES US HAPPY
According to scientists, living or spending time by the ocean has a positive effect on our physical and psychological health. Several scientific journals claim that those who live near the ocean are in a healthier, better emotional state compared to those who live far away from the ocean. Study participants living in homes with ocean views said they felt calmer and in a better mood. Hawaii has been named the happiest U.S. state seven times since 2008 in the annual Gallup poll. Is this a coincidence? I think is that it has to do with the Ocean Therapy.
OCEAN EFFECTS YOUR BRAIN
According to psychologists, the blue color is associated with relaxation and a sense of inner peace. Watching the ocean changes the frequency of our brain waves and elevates us to a pleasant meditative state.
A study published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s journal even found that the color blue is associated with a boost of creativity.
The sound of the waves washing ashore stimulates our brain while we lie on white sand near the ocean. Noise along with images activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our ability to relax. It calms our body, slows down heartbeat, regulates blood glucose. This is what we call Ocean Therapy.
As I walk through the dunes, I smell the ocean. I feel a different mood and peace. When I get to the ocean, I take a deep breath and sigh easily. I feel relaxed and calm inside. The wind touches my hair and a sense of happiness fills me. It has to do with the negative ions in the air we breathe. You breathe them when you walk near waterfalls, the ocean or forests. Studies by Columbia University show that in people with depression, negative ions inhibit the disease as much as antidepressants.
WHAT ARE THESE IONS?
Ions are molecules that have gained or lost their electric charge. Negative ions are created and charged by nature. From sunlight, moving water. Lots of negative ions are produced during thunderstorms, rain, so don’t forget to open the windows when it’s raining or just take a walk in the rain. Plants also secrete negative oxygen ions as part of their growth process. Trees use groundwater and disperse it in the air. Negative ions are odorless, tasteless and invisible molecules that we inhale profusely near waterfalls or at the seaside. Once in our bloodstream, negative ions cause biochemical reactions that increase serotonin levels. Negatively charged ions, especially if there are many of them, create conditions for the human body to heal and regenerate. They enter the human body through the respiratory tract, skin, cornea of the eye. Negatively charged ions reach the lungs and release their charge into the bloodstream. It has a powerful effect on the properties of the blood and the whole human body. By the way, all of our home’s electric devices produce positive ions that are harmful to us.
EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE IONS
Negative ions increase oxygen flow in the brain, increasing alertness, reducing drowsiness. We get more mental energy, negative ions protect us against microbes in the air, improves breathing, sleep quality, mood, boosts energy, reduces stress, helps to rest, recover faster, strengthens immunity system.
NEGATIVE IONS (CM3)
Over the ocean – 10,000
In the forest – 3000
By the lake – 900
Outdoors in the city – 700
In the office where is air conditioning – 50
If you measure the air outside, the negative ions are mostly in the morning, decrease at noon, and gradually begin to increase in the evening (7 pm to 11 pm). Least found in spring, mostly in summer and autumn.
OCEAN THERAPY LIFTS OUR MOOD
Now that we have learned about ions, let’s return to Ocean Therapy. Tell me how you feel when you touch the sand, when you take it in your hand and it falls through your fingers. I feel freedom. Touching the sand makes me feel free. It is relaxing to walk in the sand on bare feet and enjoy the warmth.
Not everyone has the chance to live in a home that has an ocean view. My advice is to focus on the ocean sounds when you are on the beach. Be with the wind, the sun, the waves and the ocean. Be here and now with yourself. Close your eyes and listen to the ocean sounds, as the waves break, spill ashore and come back.
If you receive messages or hear sounds coming from your phone, the effect will not be as strong, the tension will not ease. Take time for yourself. Leave your phone at home, turn off the internet. Relax, focus on what you are feeling now. Make the most of every minute. Your mood will change. The stress and tension will evaporate and the problems won’t seem that big. Happiness and joy will return to you.
Spend a month at the beach soaking up the sun and the calmness. Feel and remember the moment when you are at your best emotional state, breathe deeply and smell the ocean. Build a sand castle. Lie back where the waves spill ashore and enjoy a warm ocean massage. Happy holidays, a warm breeze and a feeling of happiness!