Seeking solace by a beautiful waterfront is something many of us have done, When we are depleted or stressed or simply wanting to gather our thoughts, bringing our mind body spirit (Mindfulness) together, a walk in the woods can sometimes be wonderful but a stroll by the beautiful sea somehow seems to always clear the air just a little more powerfully. As it turns out, the sense of calm that washes over you as you set or stand by the ocean, a trickling stream or a sprawling lake is not imagined, that strength and excitement for life is what marine biologist, a best-selling author, and a real protector of the seas, Mr Wallace J. Nichols, call the Blue Mind-revolutionary new discovery in the emerging field of neuroconservation.
The Blue Mind describes the mildly meditative state characterized by calm, (WATER MIND BODY SPIRIT-MINDFULNESS), peacefulness, unity, and a real sense of general happiness and being satisfaction with life in the moment, (the here and now), explains Mr Wallace J. Nichols, a man known as “The Keeper of the sea” for all of his unique understanding and work based on the water that makes up our planet.
The Blue Mind is inspired by the water and the elements associated with the water, from the beautiful color blue to the words we use to describe the sensations associated with immersion. It takes the advantage of neurological connections formed over millennia, many of such brain patterns and preferences being discovered only as of now thanks to innovative scientists and our modern day cutting-edge technology.
In a brave new world where so many experience daily exhaustion, screen fatigue, and huge anxiety, which in turn can lead to insomnia, chronic illness, and often an over-reliance on alcohol and drugs, the Blue Mind could offer a connection to a very deep health and well-being boost (WATER MIND BODY SPIRIT-MINDFULNESS), that taps into ancient neural pathways. Wallace’s unique research into neuroconservation through his project The Blue Mind, named for the combination of two scientific conversations-one is the future and the exploration of waters, rivers, lakes, and oceans, the other is the golden age of neuroscience research right now-suggests, when we are by water (even in a bath at our home) has the potential to alleviate cognitive conditions and physical ailments. This discovery could very well offer some new insight into our human psyche and the healing qualities of water.
This research, which is led by Wallace, is conducted by neuropsychologists who are using a large range of methods; From surveys, simple data collection through interviews, and questionnaires to measuring stress hormones in saliva, monitoring heart rates and breathing, and measuring the electrical activity (EEG) and oxygen flow (FMRI) to the brain as the subjects engage with a variety of activities and stimuli. The results my friends show that us human beings have a natural predisposition to be soothed by the bodies of water, offering what Wallace says are profound implications for how humans take care of themselves and the blue planet in this golden age of the exploration of both, our brains and our wild waters.
As well as the overall cognitive and the physical benefits of people being by water, research into the Blue Mind has shed further light on why this act of wellness is something that is desperately needed by us humans all over our world. It would appear that us humans, as a species, have switched into what neuroscietists call the Red Mind on a day to day basis, something that is quite the opposite of the Blue Mind and can my friends be detrimental to our health.
The Red Mind is what Wallace describes as a very edgy high, which is characterized by anxiety, stress, and fear, and maybe even a little bit of anger and despair. A result of the physiological fight-of-flight response that evolved to help us to survive, The Red Mind has wound up being the go-to brain setting for many inappropriate situations. This is believed to be a reaction to the bombardment of constant information, also a way of living not conducive to the human biological needs.
These days we are in the Red Mind mode big time, says Wallace. Information streams in from around our world, demanding our undivided attention. We are more distracted, anxious, and stressed than ever before. Left unchecked the Red Mind can become the Gray Mind: a numbed-out, indifferent, and depressive state. Wallace adds: Anxiety and stress can cause or exacerbate many of our disorders, diseases, and unhealthy conditions. The stress hormone, cortisol, is known to promote inflammation which impedes healing. Activities that may remove or reduce stress, such as taking time to be by the water, can complement our health care.
Indeed, being in, on, or even near some water has now been proven to imbue the senses, help to quieten and still overactive human minds, and may even balance hormones. It can also help us to tap into insight, compassion, and creativity that might otherwise be suppressed.
To tap into the Blue Mind, we must close down the screens, stand up, log out, and go outside, explains Wallace, (WATER MIND BODY SPIRIT-MINDFULNESS). From here, we travel until we glimpse the water, then move so closer until we are at the edge. We can walk along the shores, climb onto a boat or board, or maybe strip down and submerge. Here, the auditory, visual, and somatic processing is being simplified. Assuming we’ll safe and comfortable, our bodies and minds can be restored. Our human brain switches into a different mode where insight, creativity, and connections with others are enhanced.
We are open to all the experiences of awe and wonder which can definitely boost empathy and compassion. Our heart rate and breathing tends to slow down. We let our minds dream and wander. Waterside is a place for creativity, play and romance, a sense of freedom and peace, contemplation, grieving, and remembering. All the magic and importance of allowing ourselves to experience the Blue Mind on a regular basis becomes quite clear.
The Blue Mind is something that we all can benefit from, both physically and emotional. Better yet, spreading the awareness of how integral the ocean and the other waterways are to life will help to support marine conservation efforts worldwide. (WATER MIND BODY SPIRIT-MINDFULNESS). Tapping into the Blue Mind is a natural form of self-care from which we all can immediately reap many rewards. ALL WE NEED IS WATER.
May good health be always with you. Humbly your Paul Earl