For many of us, the ocean is a place we turn to for healing, peacefulness and clarity. The tides attract us and beckon us to sit by the shore, to plan vacations around sailing, diving and sunbathing and to breathe in the mineral air that soothes us. Taking in the sunshine and watching the waves crash against the shore feeds our senses and creative lives, enhancing mindfulness.

We may not realize there are benefits beyond absorbing vitamin D or feeling buoyant in the water. The ocean can be a place where our minds, bodies and spirits can take a timeout from the world’s digital or sensory overload from urban environments.

The following are five ways being near the ocean can heal and revitalize us:

The color blue

Blue is a color associated with calm, depth and peacefulness. When we are near water, we experience blue as an aquatic color that triggers feelings of satisfaction and happiness beyond playing in water or listening to the waves. It can stir within us waves of creativity and fresh perspectives.

It is not stagnant

Just like the waves lap at the shore and retreat, we can become fluid like the tides and let waves of negative emotions and stress go out to sea, freeing our minds and spirits while emptying ourselves from obstructive thoughts that are holding us back from productive lives.

It is harmonious

Just as the ocean supports and encourages various species to coexist, we can learn from the sea how to thrive in diversity and face challenges by remembering life is change. By embracing this reality, we can use the ocean as a template for cultivating harmony within us that will overflow into our daily lives and relationships.

It can give our minds a rest

Being around water gives our minds a break from overstimulation. Although there are sounds like waves crashing on the beach, our brains can engage in mild attentiveness. This state induces mindfulness since we are aware of our surroundings yet we receive a break from cognitive overload.

It can have a ripple effect

Water can cause a ripple effect in our lives. Since the ocean is always moving, we realize that we are more than one drop in a vast expanse. The ocean is comprised of many water droplets that together create a sea. A small ripple in a pool of water can extend outward, effecting change on the water’s surface just like our lives can exude positivity and a unique purpose, creating a lasting legacy within our world from a micro to macro perspective.

As we absorb the peacefulness and freedom the ocean provides, we can move freely throughout the remainder of our day, connecting with other people in a state of “we” instead of “they” and reaping the rewards of relaxation, mindfulness and a more purpose driven life.

The next time you are seaside, breathe in the mineral air and appreciate its healing properties. Pay attention to the movement of the waves and how they touch the shore only to pull away and then return. Notice the flight of the seagulls and how they receive sustenance from the ocean. Observe the small creatures you find in tide pools and see how they coexist with different species. Let your mind wander as you take in the awe of a distant horizon, connecting you to the universe, and just be. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

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