Water has a certain calmness — May is Mental Health Month.
“When I sit here by the sea and listen to the sound of waves, I feel free from all obligations and people of this world.” — Henry Thoreau
I have always gravitated toward the water. Whether it was/is the ocean, lake, river, creek, or pond, water has been where I can think. It has also been where I can cry, grieve, or let the anger go.
Photo by author/ BALittle/ Langston,
AlabamaMarine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, author of the book Blue Mind writes,” Previous research has found that being near or on the water for any amount of time lowers stress and anxiety, boosts our well-being and happiness, and lowers heart and breathing rates, among other benefits.” Nichols also added, “People can experience the benefits of the water whether they’re near the ocean, a lake, river, swimming pool or even listening to the soothing sound of a fountain.” Scientists are seeing the positive cognitive and physical effects of water. It turns out that being near water leads to an improved sense of physical health and well-being. Contact with water induces a meditative state that makes us happier, healthier, calmer, and more creative.
Photo by author/ BALittle
Cities are adding Blue Spaces into their plans. Researchers, city planners, and governments want to put this knowledge to practical use, turning water into a tool to promote community health. The waters ward off the depression and anxiety. Almost all of the senses are engaged — sight, smell, hearing, and touch, and this physical immersion in reality makes us feel better, even though we sometimes imagine we can’t part with our phones for even a moment. City Planners are adding parks with water features in industrial areas so employees can enjoy a peaceful lunch or break while observing the tranquil water. Studies are showing more and more that humans need blue spaces as much as green spaces.
Additionally, I have learned that drinking water eases anxiety. Sounds simple, right? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
According to the CDC , getting enough water every day is important for your health. Drinking water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, and lead to constipation and kidney stones. Every system in the human body counts on water to function, and the brain is no exception. About 75 percent of brain tissue is water. Research has linked dehydration to depression and anxiety because mental health is driven primarily by your brain’s activity. Drinking water decreases risk of depression and anxiety in adults. A research conducted by the World Journal of Psychiatry of more than 3300 individuals showed that participants who drink more water daily have reduced the risk of depression and anxiety. Participants with the lowest level of water consumption were reported to have doubled the risk of depression and anxiety. Hydration reduces panic attack. Panic attacks are a result of high anxiety, Solara Mental Health mentioned how panic attacks usually have physical triggers, one of which is dehydration.
The amount of water you drink and being near or on water can influence aspects of your mood. Multiple studies have found a link between drinking water and mental health :
So, drink up! Water that is.