Have you ever spent a day or two in the beach and come back feeling fresh, and rejuvenated? We can all agree that the beach can calm us, but did you know that the beach can also have a dramatic effect on your health and even change your brain! Well, here are some scientifically proven benefits that the beach has to offer.
#1 Your Brain’s Prefrontal Cortex Activates
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotion and self-reflection. This part of the brain shows engagement when ocean sounds play. In addition to that, you can see this in scans that were taken by scientists of participants of studies that were exposed to ocean sounds and traffic noises.
#2 Ocean Waves Generate Negative Ions
That awesome relaxing and peaceful feeling we feel at the beach may be a result of molecular changes that are happening in our bodies. The beach’s waves produce negative ions which accelerate our body’s ability to absorb oxygen. In fact, they also balance our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that our body produces which relates to mood and stress.
#3 Your Stress Hormone Cortisol Level Lowers
According to Shelley Batts, Ph.D., an auditory neuroscientist at Stanford University and a presenter at the first Blue Mind Summit, “There’s a lot of research that has parsed out what types of noise humans find pleasant and relaxing, and what types are considered noxious and stress-inducing”.
The sound the waves make is the reason why the beach can easily relax our tense minds. Also, the most relaxing and pleasant sounds are those that have predictable wave patterns—like the ocean waves. These sounds should also be middle to low pitches, soft in volume and regular interval harmonic frequencies.
#4 The Flat Ocean’s Surface Calms You
We feel a sense of safety and security when we see the flat plane of the ocean’s surface. According to Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich, humans feel safe when they are in places that are not complex. For example, in the forest, we need to take caution of predator animals; in the cities, we need to be wary of crooks; but the beach gives us peace of mind and there are no potential threats to think too much of.
So, what are you waiting for? Go grab your engineering buddies and plan a beach trip!