Last updated August 28, 2023
Ever feel calmer when you’re closer to the water? You’re not alone. It’s what we refer to as Blue Mind. And there’s a science to back up the reasoning behind this feeling and phenomena.
Blue Mind, as author and marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols describes, is “medicine for those who need it most.” Myself included. I’ve always been a water baby, feeling more at ease when I see the blue waves within an eye’s view.
Nichols goes into detail in his critically acclaimed book about the reason and science behind this natural feeling.
“When we’re born, our bodies are approximately 78 percent water. As we age, that number drops to below 60 percent—but the brain continues to be composed of 80 percent water…” as Nichols notes in his book. All the feelings we get from the ocean are very instinctual, almost infantile. Think of a womb.
While I’ve always naturally been drawn to water and the feeling of calm the ocean provides me, on my most recent trip to Nassau, Bahamas, I put this theory to good use. Here are six ways to experience the benefits of Blue Mind at any waterfront location.
There’s no better, nor simpler, way to take in the benefits of water than just to get right in it. Whether you’re in a cold location to enjoy the benefits of a cold plunge ocean dip, or if you’re in warmer climates and want to do a little puja cleansing exercise, diving into the ocean and water can be invigorating, refreshing and a way to calm your entire body.
Meditation Beach Walks
Not all meditations have to be seated. Earthing and getting your feet in the sand while washed with water can be a delicious way to ground with nature and detox technological ions. The combination of the senses from hearing the ocean waves, feeling the sand and water and smelling the sea while moving your body through nature can be powerful through all vibrations.
Likewise, some meditations are meant to be seated. Sit in the sand, or grab a towel to perch on. Using the natural flow of the ocean breathe in with the water moving up onto the shore and then exhale as the ocean wave retreats back to the sea. Repeat over, intensifying the breath, for 10 minutes following the flow of the ocean.
One of the most memorable experiences I had recently in an island getaway to the Bahamas was an evening out taking a dip in the ocean under the sunset. I and a few others were there, taking in the beautiful orange tones reflecting over the cove.
To our beautiful surprise, a fairly large turtle was joining us, too—without fear, but pure grace, grazing upon the seagrass that was in the cove’s bay. Any stress or worry of “life” had disappeared, for you are humbled at that moment, one with a fellow animal (or, reptile in this case).
This was a natural occurrence, and some hotels or destinations will offer excursions that incorporate animals. I’m all for enjoying time with nature and animals in their habitats, as long as it’s not destroying or disrupting them in any harmful manner. So, best to do some research or ask for details before booking.
Puja, or Ocean Cleansing Ceremony
A puja (pronounced “poo-jah”) is a Vedic ritual considered to be liberating, releasing, purifying and a form of yoga of the spirit and emotions. While there are many forms of puja that can be unrelated to the ocean, an idea to share in this instance can be used in the meditation illustrated above.
After the mediation, cleanse in the ocean and visualize any forms of heaviness or weight or suffering letting go as you cleanse and dip in the sea. Release the lower energy vibrations and allow your mind and body to feel freer after you ground back on the sand.
This has nothing to do with pollution, so curb the eco-police here. There are many sustainable and biodegradable options you can use for mantras or intentions written on paper. Or, as I’ve done in the past with floral arrangements, I’d used wilted or past their prime flowers to create intentions on, choosing the petals, and gently tossing them into the sea after. Nature, meeting nature, all energies combined. The ocean is the cleanser and healer that she, in her great body, is known to be.
Blue Mind can be defined as a mildly meditative state characterized by calmness, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.Wallace J. Nichols
Do you agree, feeling happier or calm near the water? Which one of these?
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