Anyone who lives on a lake, ocean or river knows the pleasure of sitting idly and gazing out over the shimmering waters. What is it exactly that attracts us to the view, other than the pure beauty of the scenery?
Scientists have recently discovered a significant correlation between living on the coast, especially near the sea, and your health – both mental and physical. The psychological benefits may stem from the minerals in the sea air acting to reduce stress, or it could be salt in the water that affects the chemical balance of the brain. Likely even that the soothing sound of ocean waves alter the brain’s wave patterns, inducing a state of relaxation.
It’s no surprise that lying on a beach helps people relax! However, there could be even more lasting health benefits. In the 18th century, doctors routinely prescribed trips to the “sea” and salt water bath treatments. Modern studies hint that people living closer to the coast report better health, even when adjusted for socioeconomic factors.
Maybe it’s something even more basic to human nature, summed up eloquently in the following quote:
“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.” – President John F. Kennedy