Have you ever taken a trip to the seaside an experienced a change in how you’re feeling? Your mood may have felt lifted and your energy increased. All felt well in the world and you just felt, well, alive!
Being by the sea can have a powerful positive impact on your health and wellbeing and this is lovingly referred to (by me anyway) as the vitamin sea effect.
There are actually quite a few ways that the seaside benefits your wellbeing and most of them can also be replicated even if, like I do, you live right in the middle of the country as far from the sea as can be.
The colour blue has a calming and soothing effect and looking at the blue ocean can trigger the same calming response in your body. The repetitive motion of the waves also calms and soothes and helps your brain to tune out the ‘noise’ of thoughts. Blue is also thought to trigger creativity too. Struggling with a problem you need to find a solution to? Staring at the sea or a blue sky could help you figure it out.
Listening to rhythmic sound of the waves breaking can be meditative and as a result relaxing for your brain and mind. Meditation switches off the stress response and activates your parasympathetic nervous system, creating space for healing in your body. If you can’t get to the seaside try listening to ocean sounds as you drift off to sleep to promote a deeper, more restorative sleep.
When you paddle along the water’s edge you’ll feel the cooling and calming water against your feet and ankles and the sand underneath your feet. Both of these induce feelings of calm and relaxation.
Walking barefoot has many benefits from the structural, it helps with balance and foot mechanics, to the more ethereal. Walking barefoot on sand (or on soil or grass) brings you into direct contact with the natural world and is known as grounding or earthing. More and more studies are proving the health benefits of earthing from pain reduction to heart health to reduced stress and better immune function.
Luckily for anyone who is completely landlocked, you can go for a barefoot walk in your own back yard or take your shoes off the next time you go to the park and wiggle your toes in the grass.
The smell of the sea also has a calming and relaxing effect. It may be, that when you smell that familiar sea salty air, your brain recognises this smell and associates it as a relaxing place to be which automatically triggers a calm and relaxed state.
Or, it may be connected to the negative ions in the air, which are created by the crashing of the waves.
When is a negative actually a positive? When it’s an ion!
If you’ve never heard of negative ions, don’t worry, you’re in good company.
Negative ions are good for you because they help to balance out the damaging impact of positive ions. It sounds all backwards doesn’t it? Negative ions are good for you and positive ions are detrimental to your health.
Positive ions are created, amongst other things, by electro magnetic frequencies (EMFs) and it’s impossible to avoid exposure to EMFs these days what with mobiles phones, computers, TVs, printers, wireless routers and more in almost every household.
The impact of all of this exposure to positive ions can lead to fatigue, anxiety and low moods.
Negative ions on the other hand have been shown to improve moods by stimulating serotonin production. They can also help to increase oxygen levels in your blood which in turn boosts your energy levels.
No seaside, no problem!
You may not have the luxury of being able to walk on the sea shore on a regular basis to increase your negative ion exposure but I’m happy to report that there are plenty of things you can do to increase your exposure to negative ions:
- Take a shower (crashing water!)
- Keep house plants, particularly spider plants
- Get a Himalayan salt lamp
- Place Tourmaline crystals around your home
- Walk in a forest
- Climb a mountain
- Go outdoors after heavy rain or a storm
- Wear a negative ion bracelet or accessory
Being by the sea is a fabulous health tonic and that’s probably why seaside holidays became so fashionable. Taking a trip to the coast for an afternoon or a few days can be an amazing way to give your health a boost but if that isn’t feasible for you, hopefully you’ve found some practical alternatives above.
Have fun trying new things and improving your sense of wellbeing at the same time.
If you’re interested in trying a negative ion bracelet please click here to visit my Magnetix Wellness store and type ion into the search bar to see the relevant items.