why the beach makes us happy


We can’t see it all. And while many of us can go on and on about why we love the ocean, there’s a perfectly good scientific explanation as to why that is. But he doesn’t believe that the visual appeal or any other physical attribute, such as negative ions, for example, explains the true magic of the beach. “Even though it seems like these are very different things,” he says, “your brain actually has a small module that seems to calculate goods and experiences in a way proportional to their underlying value.”. 3. Yet the rewards from travel continue long after we’ve returned home, in the form of memories. It’s in your memory.”, But the brain itself doesn’t make such sharp distinctions between a pizza and a sunset. “I do advocate moving in nature,” she says, even if it’s just a stroll along the strand. In a 2011 study , researchers at Washington University and UC Irvine asked over 1,000 beachgoers about their mental state before and after trips to the ocean. But it does take a brain scientist, or maybe a few, to help us really understand why being near the water brings us such deep contentment. It is seen as a place of relaxation because it is normally quiet and peaceful there. While nature is one ingredient of a happier state of mind, so is physical activity—a beach trip shouldn’t be totally sedentary, says Franssen. Traffic and airplane noise prompts the body to release the stress hormone cortisol, she says, which in turn can lead to ulcers and heart disease. See more ideas about beach, happy places, i love the beach. So in 2011, Nichols gathered a bunch of bright thinkers in San Francisco to discuss Homo sapiens’ deep affinity for water. Let’s face it, despite all the warnings about skin cancer, most of us love to get a little extra sun in the summertime. A second round took place at North Carolina’s Outer Banks last spring, and a third is planned for Block Island in May. To me the ice cream at the beach always tastes better. Stare beyond the horizon and breathe fresh air. We like that glow that comes from being outdoors and we believe, rightly or wrongly, that the extra color makes us look healthier. By studying what draws us to the ocean, some scientists hope, we can then use that information to help save it. Have you planned your beach vacation yet? Our individual needs vary based on our genetics, how we were raised, and our life experiences. 10 Reasons Why You Should do What Makes You Happy. It’s relatively easy to gauge what a car or a pizza is worth; we know what it will sell for in the market. Although we make a list of ‘want to dos’, we don’t officially schedule anything. “We share a very human experience with water that is often left unspoken at serious meetings,” he says. Just turning off my 5:45 am alarm is vacation enough. “There’s also this emotional component,” Batts says. “It’s not just the vacation last week and then it’s gone,” Huettel says. You Are Not At Work. So, I highly recommend you pick up a book and start reading instead of just waiting for your vacation at the beach. “We’ve known for a long time that if you give mice and rats toys to play with, it enriches their brains,” she says. Sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter and receive healthy living tips, updates on my book releases, book and movie recommendations, plus a delicious new recipe I've tried out and know you'll love! Apr 25, 2013 - Explore Amy Storti Beskar's board "The beach is my happy place...", followed by 128 people on Pinterest. We can take control of our days—sleeping in, taking walks, reading good (or trashy) books, eating fresh food. Well, if you’re swimming with sharks or wreck diving, we offer no guarantees … Some studies have nibbled around the edges: The color blue has been shown to produce feelings of security and relaxation, and researchers have discovered that blood pressure and stress levels drop when people watch fish swimming in small aquariums. Whether you’re with your family, spouse, best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend or your pals, odds are you are making that trip to the beach with someone you’re quite fond of and being around people you like and who like you makes you feel good! Instead, they suggest, the reason the beach brings us such pleasure is what we do when we get there. “To the extent that you can take action that can generate memories—whether that’s spending more time in the vacation home, or taking more trips, or inviting more friends to come share the experience—those things turn out to be the predictors of later-life satisfaction,” Huettel says. We all know the health benefits of getting the right amount of Vitamin D. There is no better or more natural way to get… That calming predictability involves all the senses—from the steadiness of the sound to the salt smell in the air. Scientists have explored everything from the sound of rolling waves to the molecular ions in the salty air, but is there a power even greater behind the sea’s ability to transform us? Being at the beach makes you feel ready for anything … rain or shine it’s still a beautiful day at the edge of the sand and sea. I give in to every seafood craving that comes along, like the aforementioned Grits a Ya-Ya. Do physical activity that feels right for you and makes you feel good. Attractive images, like those of the ocean, tend to be worth a lot. It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” ~Robert Henri All beachcombers agree that the beach is their “happy” place. According to several scientific studies, the beach is good for the brain, as it makes us happy, relaxed, and reenergized. In dense woodlands, dangerous animals can hide amid the trees; in cities, we worry about criminals. Go to the best beaches. Not only that, having a tan makes you look thinner and who doesn’t love that? The majority of people you ask will say that it is one of their favorite vacat My grandfather was a great swimmer and at one point, he just stretched out on the very calm water on his back and fell asleep! Even though they had similar acoustic profiles, only the ocean sounds activated the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with (among other things) emotion and self-reflection. Most people only set out for the beach when they’re on vacation. Scientific research has shown that the sound of the waves actually changes your brain waves, contributing to a more relaxed feeling. “Every time you see a picture of that particular beach, or you go through your vacation albums, you’re going to have those good experiences again.”. If you’re a celebrity, being D-Listed is not a good thing. Winter 2015 seems as though it’s been going on forever. It made me start to wonder, “What is it about the beach? Did you know the magnesium on sea water has a calming and relaxing effect on the body? “Lots of us have experienced this, right? But she emphasizes that beach-goers don’t have to participate in intense sports to reap the benefits of exercise. A study of 12,000 men over nine years showed that those who didn’t take an annual holiday were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack. (The subject of going is deleted because me shows up in the verb phrase.) Franssen, a neuroscientist at Longwood University in Virginia, was curious about what happened to lab rodents whose cages were furnished with natural materials, like twigs from trees. Whether it’s the latest romance novel, suspenseful thriller or science fiction adventure, reading can help reduce stress by 68%. To look around you and see the beauty of mother nature at it's finest. What that means is, at no extra cost to you, I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase. People generally underestimate the satisfaction they’ll get from activities like beach trips, compared to buying new stuff. Of course clauses don't point to nouns so they don't have gender or number. So there you have it, 10 reasons why the beach makes us happy. In fact, sand has such emotional power (even away from the beach) that it is sometimes used in psychotherapy. FOR CATHERINE LOWRY FRANSSEN, Ph.D., the path to the ocean comes from two different directions: her experiments measuring how nature can affect rodent brains, and her research into how exercise helps humans cope with stress. the brain, but his field of research focuses more on decisionmaking. Some research shows that going from earning less than $20,000 a year to making more than $50,000 makes you twice as likely to be happy, yet the payoff for then surpassing $90,000 is slight. You’re out on the beach and that wind coming off the water is whipping your hair back and forth enough to make Willow Smith jealous. I have a very vivid memory of my grandfather one summer. However, being D-Listed at the beach means your body is soaking up all of that good sunshine and manufacturing a good bit of Vitamin D. This boosts your production of serotonin which is the chemical that works to keep you feeling alert, up-beat and happy. You don’t melt down when the crisis comes.”. The ocean can make … I am looking forward to the summer and my family’s getaway to the turquoise waters of Pensacola. Copyright © Sherry A. Phillips 2021 • All Rights Reserved. More important, he says, is that a week on vacation produces nostalgia rather than material things. I don’t want a job that I feel like I need to get away from! While we may not be able to pinpoint why most of us love the beach so much, one thing is for sure: the beach makes us feel happy, relaxed and free. But at the beach, there’s no place for a threat to lurk. As an added bonus, you get that fresh, tousled “beach” look that celebrities pay hundreds of dollars for … for FREE! As co-director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Duke University. This means they are not at work and are able to relax and enjoy life without the pressures of their job. The number one benefit for hitting the beach is stress relief. Travel makes us happy, ... A year of the world's Best Beaches There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. For some reason, when I go to the beach I get this craving for some ice cream. Ocean waves generate negative ions, charged air particles that have been linked to mental energy and emotional well-being. Most people only set out for the beach when they’re on vacation. Taking vacations for relaxations actually helps you live a longer life. “But then we can also not freak out over every tiny little thing—walking to the mailbox to pick up the mortgage bill.”. “You can’t trade it. But “anything that occurs against that background is easily recorded and easily interpreted.” As a result, the boat or bird produces “a special, sparkling” feeling rather than fear. Why do you like the beach? This means they are not at work and are able to relax and enjoy life without the pressures of their job. Our entire family went to Daytona Beach, Florida for a week. At this first annual Blue Mind Summit, marine scientists, brain researchers, environmental advocates, and other ocean experts bounced ideas off one another. It’s relaxing and fun! So take a break and choose life. “Sand is impressionable, mutable, and impermanent.”. We face no deadlines. I snorkeled in ponds that I don’t think anybody has snorkeled in before or after.”, Wallace J. Nichols. SCOTT HUETTEL, PH.D., ALSO STUDIES the brain, but his field of research focuses more on decisionmaking. Writer Patrick Rothfuss said, " A long stretch of road can teach you … Contemplating the ocean’s infinitude “helps us reflect and can lead to calmness or excitement—things that we know improve our mood,” says Grafman, who has studied depression and post-traumatic stress. “Our neurochemical stress response is telling our bodies to move—whether that’s taking a good long walk on the beach, boating, or something a little bit more extreme like surfing,” she says. It helps you reinvent yourself. “What does the ocean present us with?” he asks. What we hear at the beach is not all about pitches and frequencies, though. Visually, beach scenes have what Huettel calls “intermediate-level complexity”—a flat expanse of ocean contrasting with a solitary tree or curving beach—which viewers find universally attractive. “My prediction,” he says, “is that in the next decade, we’ll produce some beautiful, important, interesting science related to our brains on water.” At the least, we will begin to look for serious explanations for the happiness we experience on the coast. As … Clear water and sandy beaches beckoned to me from my computer screen and I felt a longing to feel the scratchy granules between my toes and the waves wash over my body. There are scientific reasons why we're so drawn to lakes, rivers, and oceans. Ice, sleet, freezing rain and snow have pelted the country over and over. Nichols hopes these summits will serve as springboards to serious research. I would get the best night’s sleep while at the beach. "We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what's broken," Nichols writes in Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, published in July. We can’t see below it.” That mysteriousness has beckoned explorers for thousands of years—and, even in this era of Google Maps, it continues to tug at us. Just moving closer to the beach had an effect on people. One of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of waves crashing on the beach. Details here. “When we look out to the sea, or we’re along the strand, we’re in a predictable, stable environment.” Some visual elements stand out: a boat in the distance, a gull on the shore. We can also not freak out over every tiny little thing—walking to the mailbox to pick up the bill.... 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