It’s official: Scientists have confirmed what many Beaufort County residents already know. Being near the water can be inspiring and can wash away the stress of a chaotic day.
Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, author of the bestseller “Blue Mind,” says our brains are wired to respond emotionally to water.
“When you step outside, and particularly by the edge of water, your coritzol levels drop, your brain switches into a different mode, and it turns out what we’ve learned is that that boosts creativity, settles your brain and your body down, reduces stress. ... It makes you happy,” he said on www.wallacejnichols.org.
And Nichols isn’t alone in extolling the virtues of life near the water.
Last year, researchers in New Zealand found that being near the water — blue space — played a key role in people’s mental well-being.
Other researchers with the Blue Gym Initiative found that “individuals living near the coast are generally healthier and happier than those living inland.”
Each year, Gallup assesses the “State of American Well-Being” in communities across the United States based on how much residents said they are content about their lives and where they live. Among the top 10 places in the most recent report, seven of them — including the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort area which came in at 9th — are located near a coastline.
But some people don’t take full advantage of the benefits of life on the coast, Nichols told USA Today.
“Most of us have access to water, lakes or oceans in some form — and we under-utilize their potential. Whether it’s a deeply relaxing vacation or a weekend getaway, water is the best way to reset,” he said.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103