Science Shows How A Trip To The Beach Actually Changes Your Brain

Photo: David Prado Perucha / Shutterstock
smiling woman at beach

The ocean. A lake. A babbling creek. A stream. Even a waterpark.

Each body of water conjures a feeling inside of us even as we read the words. 

RELATED: How Guilt Ruined Our Romantic Vacation

You don't have to be an outdoor girl to acknowledge that spending time by the water can leave you feeling rested, recharged, soothed, and restored. Who doesn't love to go for a swim? Or just simply lie in the sand instead?

I'm a total water baby. Not only am I a Cancer, but I've always lived right on the water. 

The farther away from it I am, the more stressed out and unhappy I feel. 

It turns out that I'm not a secret mermaid (boo).

I'm just a human being having a very natural and scientific reaction to what researchers call blue space. 

So what exactly happens when we spend time by the water? 

Our minds are sent into a restful almost hypnotic space thanks to the soothing smells and sounds of the water.

Scientists are sure that as they continue to study blue space that spending time in one can't help but boost your mental health.

1. It reduces depression.

Did you know that the sound of waves can put people in a true meditative state? It can, and that state, in turn, is linked to increased mental clarity and reduced depression.

Sebastian was right. It is better under the sea. That said, Prince Eric was admittedly, quite fine.

RELATED: Why I Didn't Miss My Kids At All When I Went On Vacation

2. It makes you more creative.

Being in a blue space can also bolster your creativity. You get all that fresh air and open sea and no noisy city or annoying kids for miles.

Because your brain is relaxed, you are more likely to drift and imagine than you are on a day-to-day basis. 

3. It de-stresses you. 

Taking a dip also helps because the water is full of naturally occurring negative ions. Some scientists believe that the positive ions given off by the appliances every day leave us feeling angry, cranky, and overworked. Naturally occurring negative ions counteract all of this. I'll be real, this sounds a little bit too much like something George RR Martin might cook up, but I love the ocean, so I'll go with it. 

RELATED: 9 People Share The Grossest Things They've Found In Their Hotel Rooms

4. It changes your perspective on the world. 

Plus it doesn't hurt to be reminded that there are things bigger on this planet than us, our commutes, or a traffic jam. Being in the presence of nature is soothing as hell. 

I guess this means it is only a matter of time before doctors are prescribing beach time alongside antidepressants.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Prozac, but I feel like there would be much less of a stigma around an activity that involves dolphins and bikinis.

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. She writes about psychology, relationships, pop culture, and news.