We might not realize it, but it’s natural for us to be drawn to bodies of water. Whether it’s staring at the still waters of a lake or listening to the rush of a stream, being around water gives us a sense of being refreshed. Different bodies of water evoke different emotions in the human psyche, but none of them can compare to the happiness we feel when we see the ocean.
The idea of waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore sounds magical enough to want to move to the sea. But what makes the sea so different from other bodies of water? Why does it put us at ease to smell the saltwater and the sand? We list down four health benefits that tell us why the ocean is so magnetic.
- Your sleep patterns improve
There are so many things that affect a person’s sleep patterns in the city: the disquiet, the bright lights, the anxiety of tomorrow’s commute, among others. These things cause our cortisol (aka the “stress hormone”) levels to go up and disrupt how we rest. But sleeping by the beach — whether you’re camping in a small tent, glamping in a summer home, or lying in a hammock — improves your sleep quality by leaps and bounds.
The crisp ocean air, cooler temperatures, and the sound of waves combined improves restfulness and helps lower cortisol levels in our bodies. Just the sight of it at dawn is enough to help clear the mind of worry. Of course, you can always try cannabidiol, but the power of the ocean is enough to make enough feel more relaxed. Notice how people who come back from a beach trip have a healthier glow? It’s because they’re well-rested.
- Faster healing
Saltwater has been proven to have healing qualities. If you have problems with aching joints or sore muscles, a saltwater soak will alleviate the pains. The gentle push and pull of the waves also feel like a light massage, which can help with circulation without the pressure of gravity.
Saltwater also promotes the healing of small cuts and scrapes. For people stuck in the busy city where the beach is an hour’s drive away at least, putting Epsom salts in the bath is a good alternative to getting the sea’s healing qualities.
The sand can also be used as a great exfoliant to get rid of dead skin. Sea salt scrubs have been getting popular in the skincare department, but it’s a little hard to compare scrubbing down in a bathroom to scrubbing with the surrounding waves. Remember to wear sunscreen since freshly exfoliated skin is more sensitive to sunburn.
- Strolls down the beach
Let’s face it: walking around in the city can prove to be more stressful than helpful at times. You’ll have to worry about passing cars, bumping into other people, and in some areas, curfews. It does little to clear your head. But taking a stroll at the beach? You’ll feel the stress melt away. Walking without worrying if any cars are coming or if it’s too late to be out is a stress-reliever like no other.
The sound and sight of the ocean can make you feel like you are effectively disconnecting from the world for a bit the further down the shore you walk. Finding cool shells and sea glass is also a surprise as you walk along the water.
- You get some sun
Last but not the least, you get a great amount of sunlight at the beach. Sunlight has Vitamin D, which is good for a body’s overall wellness. Regular exposure to mild sunlight (think of the warm rays of 6:00 am to 10:00 am) strengthens bones and promotes healing. When you’re at sea, you don’t just get sunlight from above– it is also reflected onto the waves, so even if you’re swimming, you still get a good dose of Vitamin D.
Getting some sun can also do wonders for your skin and mental well-being. Sunlight improves circulation and boosts one’s mood. That’s part of why people who live near the beach have such a healthy glow and a sunny (forgive the pun) disposition.
A trip to the beach is a surefire way of feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The ocean is a place of healing, so it’s natural to be drawn to it. Spending a day with your toes in the sand, surrounded by a stretch of glittering blue, can help melt away the stress of the daily grind back in the city. So when you can, grab your sunscreen and tent — treat yourself to a day by the sea!