You know that going to the beach makes you feel good... but why?? 🏖
Blue Mind: A mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peace, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. - Wallace J. Nichols, PHD
As I sit here writing this, I’m staring at the bright turquoise blue ocean in Hawaii 😎🌴. The waves are perfect. They take a long time to crash - gently rolling in from a few hundred yards out. The surfers are all grouped together out there in the distance and they look just as happy and content sitting there waiting, as they do when they catch one of the waves.
I can understand how surfing becomes addicting.... To be "one with nature" in the most real and literal sense… must be so invigorating and enlivening.
I’ve got my laptop in front of me but I find myself naturally being pulled away from the screen 💻. The water draws me in. I want to watch the movement of each wave. Every one of them is different. And I can’t help but feel its instant calming effect on me.
They call this “effect” soft fascination and it’s defined as a state of “effortless attention” as a result of being immersed in nature. In The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective, the researchers address what they call “the restorative experience” which causes a person’s emotional state to be uplifted and mental balance to be restored.
It happens to you while watching waves 🌊, a flickering fire 🔥, swaying of the trees 🌳, or the running of a waterfall💦.
I started this post with a quote from Wallace Nichols, author of Blue Mind, and he explains it best….
"In a natural environment on or near water, there’s a high degree of predictability — unlike a busy street, a body of water is largely the same from moment to moment. The background we see is fairly controlled, which allows part of the brain to relax. Against that consistent background, the brain continues to search for something that wasn’t there before, since the essence of survival is the correct interpretation of things that don’t fit in the landscape. When the brain notices a disturbance on the surface (like a wave or a water bird), there’s a sense of surprise and novelty, which is accompanied by a pleasurable hit of dopamine.”
Isn’t that fascinating??? I think so! 😳
What I love about this concept of soft fascination is that:
Remember, your environment is only ONE of the 7 key Influencers of Wellbeing and the natural environment, in particular, has power in it that we aren’t tapping into nearly as much as we should and could!
I hope you use this post as an excuse to break away from the technology, the city-life, or the television to get out there!
Your most powerful natural remedy happens to be nature itself.
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