August 14, 2019 - Beach sense
This past week was spent on vacation at the beach in Rhode Island with my family and some of our friends. Being on vacation is always nice, of course, but being surrounded by the beach elements has always felt very calming. It got me to thinking on the reasons why this happens with our mind and body. Here are some interesting reasons on how it affects our four senses.
Smelling salt air can contribute to your soothed state. You know I had to mention salt air!! It has been established as a great healer of the respiratory system. The air has tiny beads of sea water enriched with salt, iodine, magnesium and trace elements which is dispersed into the air by wind and waves. According to Richard Shuster, PsyD, clinical psychologist, beach air near waterfalls and ocean have oxygen atoms with an extra electron making them negative ions (NBC Universal, July 29, 2017) which help calm and relax.
The sound of the ocean can put us in a blissful state of calm with its repetitive, undulating sound. This activates our parasympathetic system which calms our inner selves. It is often why it is a top choice for sound machines used for sleeping.
The color blue, of course, is known for its association with calm, peace, security and relaxation. Staring at the blue ocean can put us in a mild meditative state as it actually changes our brain waves. It makes us calm and open. Blue is known as the most popular color.
Touching the sand is a very pleasing tactile sensation and a natural exfoliation tool. It can actually calm you down as you let it run through your fingers and toes. The salt water is good for your skin with the magnesium which benefits the elasticity and appearance.
So the beach can affect the four senses in the most pleasing way. Being near any body of water has many health benefits for mind and body that scientists call "blue space". I am happy to report that I was very blue this vacation!
Stay Salty, Arianne