Because sometimes deep breathing just doesn’t cut the mustard.
I experienced my first minor anxiety attack at the age of 16, brought on by my high school teacher mentioning an upcoming speech we were going to be graded on. Ten years on from this, the onset of an attack is not as frequent but definitely more vigorous.
If you are anything like me, you will literally have to plunge head first into the ocean to attempt to control your breathing again. After learning numerous breathing exercises through therapy sessions and other resources, no amount of deep breaths can stop an attack in its tracks once it is in full force.
I count myself lucky enough to have always had access to the beach, what I prefer to call 'my happy place'. I truly believe this is one of the best methods to provide relief to anxiety and depression.
Sun, sand and sea. Three of the most effective tools when dealing with stress and anxiety.
Have you ever felt at peace from watching and listening to the sea drift in and out? For many of us who commonly feel the calming effects from the beach, the tension of not being able to swim, surf or stroll amidst the current COVID-19 crisis is building.
"The calming effects of the waves and sun combined is enough to make a person leave their stress behind. The heat of the sun, the sound of the waves, and your feet in the sand can help to fight off any feelings of anxiety and stress." - University of New Hampshire
The Michigan State study is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water also, which the researchers call blue space.
“Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” said Amber L. Pearson, assistant professor of health geography.
Not only does the sea heal us mentally, it also provides us with many physical benefits.
More often than not, the way we feel about our appearance on the outside in turn assists us to feel an overall satisfaction with ourselves.
Vitamin D from sun exposure is known to assist in maintaining healthy bones and lowering cholesterol. Spending 10-30 minutes per day in the sun, preferably around midday, is all you need to benefit the most from Vitamin D through sun exposure.
Whether swimming, surfing, walking or just having a general play at the beach, you will give your body the exercise it needs to assist with sleep and regulating hormones. The sand will also work to exfoliate the skin, the sun opens your pores up and the salt water works to detoxify them, then the iodine in the water will destroy any bacteria in your skin that can cause blemishes.
If you are in a position to spend time near the ocean, be there, be present and be you.