I am so lucky to have grown up in Cornwall, it is only with spending time away that I have learnt to really appreciate how beautiful the coastline is. Whenever we arrive and whatever the weather, the top of our to do list is get down to the beach for a dog walk.
Being near the sea brings me a sense of perspective and awe. The sea is so vast, it’s humbling. Humans are kind of self-centred by default, we see ourselves as the centre of our world, being in front of a large body of water makes you realise that you are a small part of this huge world.
The sea connects me to a sense of something beyond myself. It makes me appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature.
I think possibly, the most profound benefit of being near large bodies of water is the fact that it gives our brains a rest. It’s a rest from the over-stimulating environment we live in day to day. Screens and devices constantly bombard us with huge amounts of information. Our homes, offices and the city streets are busy. Our brains didn’t evolve to process all of this sensory over-stimulation, so is it any wonder we need a break from it?
Looking out, towards the horizon across water is a simple visual input when compared to our home, office or a busy high street. Instead of trying to process millions of pieces of information every second, our brains can just be.
The sounds and rhythmic movements of the sea is so calming. Many people revolve their holidays around spending time on the beach. Looking out over the ocean seems to be a universal love. It is thought that the sea induces a mildly meditative state, the sensory input it offers isn’t overwhelming but is enough to hold our attention and distract our brains from worries and thought.
We know that being in a mindful state, where the brain is relaxed but gently focused benefits our physical and mental health and the sea seems to be an amazing gateway to creating a mindful state.