A recent article published in The Guardian highlighted the emerging research about how spending time near water could be the secret to happiness. They reported that ‘blue space’ (rivers, oceans, waterfalls and lakes) are now thought to be just as beneficial to our physical, mental and emotional health as ‘green spaces’ (trees and forests).
It makes perfect sense. Who doesn’t feel more relaxed and happy with a little Vitamin Sea in their lives? Being close to sea or around lakes and waterfalls means less time breathing in toxic pollution and more time outdoors. Being outdoors means more time absorbing the positive energy of sunshine that increases our Vitamin D levels which we know is an essential nutrient for our immunity and wellbeing.
The good news is the latest research indicates we don’t need to necessarily live by water to reap the benefits. Just two hours a week is said to greatly improve our happiness levels. According to the article, even a stroll by the sea will help us sleep better.
Don’t worry if you’re a city dweller. Architects and town planners are increasingly aware of the ecological benefits of bringing nature into urban environments for improving people’s wellbeing. There’s amazing innovation happening around the world in this sector and, in the not too distant future, expect to see more parks and ponds in our cities. There will be more community gardens, cycling and walking paths as well as communal areas designed to boost physical interaction between city folk and give them a greater sense of belonging (that is also linked to longevity and happiness). If you don’t live in close to proximity to water, then consider ways to bring the water element into your own home – a small water fountain can work wonders or even just listening to the sounds of water on your Ipod can feel just as soothing.