There has already been scientific studies proving the benefits of immersing yourself in green spaces. The Japanese even have a name for it, “forest bathing.” Benefits include:
- lower heart rate and blood pressure
- reduction in stress hormone production
- boosted immune system
- improvement in overall feelings of wellbeing
Now there is new research supporting exposure to “blue spaces.”
“We find people who visit the coast, for example, at least twice weekly tend to experience better general and mental health,” says Dr Lewis Elliott, also of the University of Exeter and BlueHealth. “Some of our research suggests around two hours a week is probably beneficial, across many sectors of society.”
Blue spaces may edge out green spaces for maximum benefit:
spending time in and around aquatic environments has consistently been shown to lead to significantly higher benefits, in inducing positive mood and reducing negative mood and stress, than green space does.
Just strolling down by the beach, 800 meters from Ohana Retreat Bali, will give you “health by stealth,” as the associated soundscape and the quality of light on water can be enough to have a restorative effect.
Here’s a tip that we can adapt from green spaces expert Gregg Bergman, from his forest walks: before you begin your walk along the beach find a rock, pick the most important problem that you’re dealing with and project it into the rock. Then drop the rock and take your walk. On your way back you will hopefully have forgotten where you dropped the rock!