How being in, near or under water can make you happier.

Anyone who’s tooled around Pinterest long enough is probably familiar with the adage, “The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.”

Isak Dinesen actually wrote that back in 1934, but given its current popularity, you’d think it was dreamed up by some DIY’er looking for a clever phrase to crochet on a throw pillow.

Turns out, Dinesen was pretty spot on. But it’s not just salt water, it’s ALL water. The book, BLUE MIND: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do, is all about how H2O is awesome for us.

Makes sense, given that human beings are 60 percent water. Water is our miracle cure. It regulates our body temperature, moves nutrients through our cells, keeps our mucous membranes moist and flushes waste from our bods. It’s a hell of a multitasker.

And according to author Nichols J. Wallace, being in, near or under it is a must for happiness.

I interviewed Wallace for a piece for the Miami New Times, and he totally blew my mind. When he talks about the power of water in regard to human consciousness, my first thought was DUH. It’s one of those super-obvious facts no one ever thinks/talks/writes about, other than an Instagram anecdote here or there.

The gist is this: water can induce a mildly meditative state Wallace calls “blue mind.” Basically, our brains enter what scientists call “the default mode network” — a kind of recess for our grey matter. In this state, our brains let of of the flight-or-flight nonsense we tend to carry around, and embrace creativity and innovation instead.

In other words, it’s good for us. Especially in our insanely stressed out society.

The best news is, ANY water does the job. We don’t have to live in a beachfront mansion or clifftop palace. It’s all about taking the time to notice the water in our lives. Mindfulness comes into play here. How often do we come in contact with water in any given day? From shower time to the water we drink to running faucets, it’s all around us. To reap its benefits, we just have to stop and appreciate it.

Take baths, sit beside an urban fountain — meditate on the amazing substance in the glass before you drink it. Be with water, and you’re bound to have a whole lot more happiness in your life. At least, according to Wallace.

As someone who’s always tried to live as close to water as possible (and whose favorite way to spend a day is IN the water a la Ariel), I wholeheartedly endorse his assertions.

How does water affect your happiness? Tell me about it in the comments.


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2 Responses

  1. Sandra says:

    I make a cycle along the river part of my daily commute to and from work. It adds a bit of time to my journey, but is often the best part of my day. I love to experience the peace and tranquility even though it’s only for ten minutes or so. Way better than the busy town centre I’d have to cycle through otherwise.

    • Hannah says:

      I love this Sandra! I totally feel you. My early a.m. walk to the marina with the dogs is usually the highlight of my day. 😉 There’s just something about being outdoors. Add water, and it’s even better!

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