The link between nature and stress is not unexplored. A recent study, that the Frontiers in Psychology journal published, found that nature helped take down stress markers. Apart from green spaces, blue ones are also mental health boosters. A UK-based study found that living near the coastline makes you healthier as well as happier.
Clearly, that feeling of calm that fills you up with hope and understanding when you’re at the beach is backed by science. It’s not just the rhythm of the moving water or the disconnect from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. Experts address the emotional wellbeing that water promotes. Blue spaces lower anxiety, stress, heart rate as well as breathing rate. They also enable better sleep and promote safe and better physical activity.
Just the mere sound or slight sight of the sea can result in an increase of neurochemicals that up blood flow to the brain and the heart. Hence, it’s important for your psychological health that you spend time in nature – including bodies of water. In Japan, there is even the concept of forest bathing. In fact, the Health and Place journal has published a new study that connects living near the sea to happiness.
Findings Of This New Study
Scientists analyzed data from a survey of 25,963 people. They adjusted other contributing factors and came to the conclusion that living by the coast brings mental health benefits for those who belong low-income groups. Here’s what the researchers found:
- Those who live less than a kilometer away from the coast have 22% lower odds of having any mood disorder symptoms. This is in comparison with those who live 50 or more kilometers away from the sea.
- People from low-income households who live less than one kilometer away from the coast have a 40% less at risk of symptoms compared to those who live 50 or more kilometers away and belong to the same income group.
The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Jo Garret, explained why people from poorer backgrounds gain benefits from living by the sea. He said, “When it comes to mental health, this ‘protective’ zone could play a useful role in helping to level the playing field between those on high and low income.”
This information can be used by governments to help create coastal spaces right. The goal is to enable everyone to get access to green and blue spaces without causing any damage to these areas. It’s clear that water has more than economic value. It packs emotional benefits too which adds to the pile of reasons why we need to protect and preserve nature.
There are several many benefits of nature for mental wellbeing. Most importantly, it shares a link with lower stress levels. Apart from green places, blue spaces, as in water bodies, are also beneficial for psychological wellbeing.
A new research shows that people who live by the coastline are happier. This study also says that people from low-income groups are less likely to have symptoms of a mental disorder when they live within a close range of the sea.