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Can Simply Being Near the Ocean Wash Away Stress?
CBS ^ | July 22, 2014

Posted on 07/23/2014 5:17:54 PM PDT by nickcarraway

A new book sets out to answer some big questions about the brain and bodies of water. "Blue Mind" explores why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

Most of us know that feeling of calm we get when we are on, in or just near the water.

"This is what you want if you're in the midst of a stressful week," said Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and conservationist who lives near the central coast of California. "You just want to hit that big blue reset button and get out here."

Nichols spent much of his professional life trying to protect endangered sea turtles. Now he's exploring the scientific reasons for why humans have such a deep connection with the deep blue.

"There are all these cognitive and emotional benefits that we derive every time we spend time by water, in water or under water," Nichols said.

The marine biologist dubbed it our "blue mind," the mildly meditative state our brains enter when exposed to water.

Initially, Nichols was apprehensive that people would dismiss him as a California beach-lover, but he attests that his thesis is scientifically backed.

"Once you get into it, you realize that it's chemistry, it's biology, it's physiology. It's deeply personal but it's also strong science," Nichols said.

The science is still evolving, but Nichol's work is getting plenty of attention. He began hosting "blue mind" seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world.

Brain imagining indicates that proximity to water floods the brain with feel-good hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists have also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.

"Our response to water is deep," Nichols said. "It's human, it's about life and it's about survival."

In fact, our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, a whopping 75 percent.

"So when you see water, when you hear water, it triggers a response in your brain that you're in the right place," Nichols said.

From rafting to kayaking to surfing, water therapy is increasingly being used to treat a variety of ailments, including wounded veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression.

"I think connecting public health to a healthy ocean is critical," Nichols said. "It helps you relax, just literally sucks the stress out of your body and out of your mind."

So the next time you gaze into that blue horizon, you'll know that feeling you get really is all in your head.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Outdoors; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: beach; ocean; shore; water
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1 posted on 07/23/2014 5:17:54 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I just came back from the shore last week,and it was very relaxing.


2 posted on 07/23/2014 5:22:14 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: nickcarraway

If it does, do it again.


3 posted on 07/23/2014 5:23:05 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: nickcarraway

I also find torturing infidels until they repent to be very relaxing, but that might just be because of my Spanish heritage.


4 posted on 07/23/2014 5:25:42 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: nickcarraway

I freely admit, I must get a beach fix once a year. It soothes my soul in a way that I can’t quite explain. I always feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever life throws at me for another year.


5 posted on 07/23/2014 5:26:32 PM PDT by FamiliarFace
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To: nickcarraway

I spent last weekend at the beach. The sound of those damn waves kept me awake all night.


6 posted on 07/23/2014 5:27:52 PM PDT by forgotten man
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To: nickcarraway

It is relaxing as long as someone named Katrina is not coming in to visit.


7 posted on 07/23/2014 5:28:34 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (MARANATHA, MARANATHA, Come quickly LORD Jesus!!! Father send thy Son!! Its Time!)
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To: EEGator

We go to the beach regularly...While relaxing at times...sometimes at night the ocean sounds to me like a pot about to boil...kinda irritating...but only at night.


8 posted on 07/23/2014 5:28:38 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods)
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To: nickcarraway

“Yes.”


9 posted on 07/23/2014 5:29:32 PM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: forgotten man

Well, my brother in law listens to Margaritville non stop,and that makes me depressed. So no sale!


10 posted on 07/23/2014 5:29:58 PM PDT by 9422WMR ("Ignorance can be cured by education, but stupidity is forever.")
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To: forgotten man

seek professional help..lol!


11 posted on 07/23/2014 5:30:03 PM PDT by brivette
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To: FamiliarFace

I get the same effect by spending a week camping in Ontario or northern Minnesota, listening to the haunting yodeling of the loons at night.


12 posted on 07/23/2014 5:30:56 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: nickcarraway

I agree, I think looking out across the ocean or a large lake is extremely relaxing.


13 posted on 07/23/2014 5:32:19 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: nickcarraway

Every known form of life requires water. It’s necessary as a solvent to break down proteins and combine amino acids, and also required to transfer nutrients from one part of the body to another. Plus the sea is where all animal life spent most of its time evolving in.


14 posted on 07/23/2014 5:35:44 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: goodnesswins

I stay on the Bay. :)


15 posted on 07/23/2014 5:36:05 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: nickcarraway

I’ll find out in September at Ocracoke Island NC. Frat bros and beer.


16 posted on 07/23/2014 5:36:47 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: nickcarraway

So, people in NYC, Los Angeles, New Oreans should all be very relaxed as they are so near the oceans.


17 posted on 07/23/2014 5:38:19 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need more than seven rounds, Much more.)
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To: nickcarraway

I think sunlight and vitamin D may have a significant contribution to the positive effects felt by going to the beach.


18 posted on 07/23/2014 5:40:58 PM PDT by toast
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To: nickcarraway; Larry Lucido; F15Eagle

Driving golf balls out into the ocean is very relaxing.


19 posted on 07/23/2014 5:41:11 PM PDT by Gamecock (There is room for all of God's animals. Right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy.)
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To: EEGator

The sound of water, the fresh breezes, etc. is all very relaxing. But I would think that for the majority of people, they are near the shore while on vacation - so relaxing anyway, whether it was at the beach or a golf course in Arizona.

I find freshwater to be more relaxing. I always hate having to shuffle my feet to avoid stepping on a sting ray, or feeling seaweed and thinking it was a jelly fish. Was never too worried about sharks.


20 posted on 07/23/2014 5:42:29 PM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: toast

Ha...you don’t live in Oregon.


21 posted on 07/23/2014 5:43:18 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods)
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To: nickcarraway

I live 45 minutes from the ocean. When I’m stressed out that’s where I go, the sound the smell the sun.....it’s very relaxing.


22 posted on 07/23/2014 5:43:56 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
NYC can just use the East River.
23 posted on 07/23/2014 5:45:18 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: 21twelve

A lake getaway is great too.


24 posted on 07/23/2014 5:46:42 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: nickcarraway

I’m 8 miles from the beach, but I have a nice pool with a lake just beyond the pool. I love the water... ocean, bay, lakes, rivers... they’re all good. I like the birds and life that’s around the water too.


25 posted on 07/23/2014 5:51:44 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: nickcarraway

The sound of the ocean is music to my ears. The smell of the ocean is stimulating. The sensations from the ocean are like a full body massage.


26 posted on 07/23/2014 5:54:11 PM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: Ditter
I agree, I think looking out across the ocean or a large lake is extremely relaxing.

I live 3 blocks from the Pacific, and it is very relaxing, even though it is a constant roar.

27 posted on 07/23/2014 5:58:43 PM PDT by Mark17 (Obama & Nero? Both Emperors. The difference is Nero plays a fiddle, while Obama plays Minnesota Fats)
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To: nickcarraway

Living in the desert, I get my biggest water fix when I sit on the stool.


28 posted on 07/23/2014 6:00:31 PM PDT by Scrambler Bob
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To: nickcarraway

I do like seeing the rushing water. I also like to sun myself for at least a twenty minute period. I think of the sand turtle as my model.


29 posted on 07/23/2014 6:04:05 PM PDT by lee martell
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To: nickcarraway
Salt Life...


30 posted on 07/23/2014 6:19:54 PM PDT by BreezyDog
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To: nickcarraway

Bump!!


31 posted on 07/23/2014 6:24:52 PM PDT by 4Liberty (Obama is O'Bryan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUoPNpa9Rrw)
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To: nickcarraway

No ocean beaches around, but soaking in the hot tub, gazing at the Montana night sky is bliss.


32 posted on 07/23/2014 6:25:43 PM PDT by Rennes Templar (If Obama hated America and wanted to destroy her, what would he do differently?)
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To: onedoug

ping


33 posted on 07/23/2014 6:34:01 PM PDT by windcliff
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To: nickcarraway

“Can Simply Being Near the Ocean Wash Away Stress?”

Having grown up within earshot of the ocean, the smell of the ocean, spent my youth with fishing pole in hand on the beach, the offshore fishing barge, the all day boats, AND a lifetime working in the harbor then moving to, and living in the Inland Empire for the past 27 years I can assure all that indeed one can know the difference.

Yes simply being near the ocean does wash away stress.

Funny how the occupants of most of California’s oceanfront properties are screaming Leftists anymore. To the point one prefers the stress.


34 posted on 07/23/2014 6:59:23 PM PDT by rockinqsranch ((Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.))
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To: nickcarraway

I have my own isolated little lake and cabin. Nearest dwelling is 3/4 mile away.


35 posted on 07/23/2014 7:03:10 PM PDT by CrazyIvan (I lost my phased plasma rifle in a tragic hovercraft accident.)
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To: Alberta's Child

That must be nice, too! I love camping! I guess it doesn’t much matter if it’s a lake, a river, a brook, or the ocean...they all make me relax!


36 posted on 07/23/2014 7:05:17 PM PDT by FamiliarFace
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To: nickcarraway

“Deep calls to Deep”

Psalm 42:7


37 posted on 07/23/2014 7:07:40 PM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: nickcarraway

In a month, I will be sitting on my balcony watching the waters of the inside passage slip by.

Peaceful.


38 posted on 07/23/2014 7:15:57 PM PDT by razorback-bert (Due to the high price of ammo, no warning shot will be fired.)
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To: windcliff

It does for Me...

As a kid oh those many moons ago this old dude was transplanted to the south shore of Long Island two blocks from the Ocean becoming a beach rat and later Life guard where I breathed, inhaled the salty air and sea until all became a part of me Forty three years ago I relocated to a small abode surrounded by Peconic Bay Tidal waters beaches less than 100 yards away in all directions. My Daily bathe in these waters is and has been a second Baptism and Miraculous stress dissipater and I would not live anywhere else.


39 posted on 07/23/2014 7:43:01 PM PDT by late bloomer ( Neglegere homo pone aulaeum. semi-retired warlord)
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To: nickcarraway

Can’t afford a house on the beach so I now live in a boat in the harbor. I’d say it’s cut way down on stress. Plus, no lawn to mow.


40 posted on 07/23/2014 7:51:35 PM PDT by JoanVarga (Primordial Slack)
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To: nickcarraway

No. NY & LA are proof.


41 posted on 07/23/2014 7:56:08 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth
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To: nickcarraway

I am from Minnesota and we had a home next to a creek with a pond nearby. In the summers we went “up north” to a lake cabin. The sound of the waves against the rocks and the hull of the aluminum boat are relaxing.

For those away from an ocean, here you go: Calming Seas 11 Hours Ocean Sound for relaxation, yoga, meditation, reading, sleep, study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f77SKdyn-1Y

12 Hours - Heavy Rain on a Tin Porch Roof with Thunder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPUQY8mMr6A


42 posted on 07/23/2014 8:22:26 PM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: Huskrrrr

We have a 40 ft sailboat ON the ocean. I spend as much time there as possible and would live on a boat in a heartbeat if I could talk hubby into it.
I tell everyone.......if anything ever happens to hubby you’ll find me living on the boat. Can’t think of anything better.


43 posted on 07/23/2014 8:30:02 PM PDT by sheana
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To: nickcarraway
I f-ing hate white sandy endless beaches full of tourist and lined with vacation houses and an endless sun.

Lake beaches yes, Beaches along the Great lakes are nice. Beaches in Alaska and Washington state are nice.

You can have all your white sandy beaches.

44 posted on 07/23/2014 8:30:07 PM PDT by BBell (I'm cynical and sarcastic and therefore I love Ann Coulter)
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To: windcliff

Swimming, in at least a somewhat controlled environment.


45 posted on 07/23/2014 8:33:38 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: JoanVarga

Yay!!! good for you. I could live on our sailboat. Our boat is surrounded by live aboards that wouldn’t have it any other way.


46 posted on 07/23/2014 8:33:56 PM PDT by sheana
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To: sheana

The secret to living on a boat is to not let the water in. From above or below!


47 posted on 07/23/2014 8:35:44 PM PDT by JoanVarga (Primordial Slack)
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To: sheana

Even if I had the $$ I am not sure I wouldn’t go nuts living on a boat. Many are too small and seem restrictive.

I would probably go stir crazy.


48 posted on 07/23/2014 8:37:15 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: nickcarraway

I was standing in the middle of an Iowa cornfield tonite. It’s about 7 feet tall now. A beach has a sound to it that can be relaxing. But a cornfield has its own sound too. Very relaxing. It has a certain sweet smell to it now also. Good times.


49 posted on 07/23/2014 8:39:38 PM PDT by Pappy Smear
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To: nickcarraway

I believe that the energy released from the crashing waves is what recharges my body. I know...woo woo right? I just know that when I head to the Oregon coast..and spend a bit of time walking or just standing by the crashing waves...I feel better and calmer and ready to tackle any thing.

I also think some of us are water people and some of us are recharged in a different way.

I am lucky to live where I do and lucky to be married to a man who understands my need to be near the pacific ocean.


50 posted on 07/23/2014 8:39:41 PM PDT by conservaKate ( I grow weary of the goobers in the Republican party. (thanks Chris))
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