Valerie Varnuska of Westbury, NY, enjoys astronomy and cooking. Valerie Varnuska is also a lover of the outdoors and nature, and enjoys being near the ocean.
Studies have proven time and time again that spending time in nature provides physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. However, much of this research has been focused on how access to open green spaces and water promotes healthy exercise and relaxing activities. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in how being near water can affect the human brain and body.
According to a 2016 study by researchers at Michigan State University, individuals who live near a body of water report lower stress levels. Interestingly, the study did not find the same benefit for individuals who live near green spaces, leading the researchers to conclude that simply looking at bodies of water can provide a calming effect.
This research reinforces what other psychologists and scientists have asserted over the years. One researcher, Walter Nichols, suggested that humans have a “blue mind,” which is his term for the meditative state that is triggered by the sight of water. Additionally, multiple sleep studies have indicated that the sound of running water or waves can improve sleep quality.