Blue Mind is a number one selling book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols. It is a compelling study of how and why being near, in or on water can have positive effects on our mental and physical health. As SUP coaches, we spend much of our lives on water either providing sessions to the public or paddling for pleasure. But when was the moment that you connected with your watery surroundings and decided to dedicate your life to being as close to water as possible? And why?
Through Wallace J. Nichols’ scientific observation and personal stories, we begin to understand why we are so drawn to the ocean, a river, lake, waterfall etc and how blue space can be beneficial to our physical and mental health.
Neuroscientists and psychologists add that the ocean and other waterways are a wellspring of happiness and relaxation, peace and freedom, learning and memory, play and creativity, confidence and solitude, empathy and compassion. As well as helping to overcome trauma, anxiety, addiction, stress, depression, grief, PTSD and much more.
Testimonies from top athletes, artists and leading scientists provide conclusive evidence that close proximity to water has increased their creativity and professional success.
Children know instinctively how to have fun on the beach with no adult instruction needed. Wallace observes that we have a deep connection to the sea. The relationship we have with the ocean stretches back to the origins of time.
Here is some positive news for surfers, Wallace J Nichols states:
‘Surfers exhibit more ‘Blue Mind’ than anyone else. They are attuned to the water, used to watching it carefully for hours, reading its changes, looking for the smallest indication that the next wave will be rideable. They are in the water as well as on it. They know the power of the wave to slam them down to the bottom, fighting upward against the whirling energy to break through, gasping yet still looking seaward for the next chance to hop on their board and take the ultimate ride.’
Wallace concludes that we should; ‘Fall more deeply in love with water in all its shapes, colours and forms. Let it heal you and make you a better, stronger version of yourself. You need water. And water needs you. I wish you water.’
By Sophy Aykroyd