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  • Writer's pictureClaire Hadfield

7 ways that water can help your wellbeing

We all know that water is essential for life. All plants and animals need water to survive and without it, there would be no life on earth. Imagine for a second what the earth’s landscape would look like if there was no water. Nothing would grow and everything would be dry, dust-like, and lifeless.

We also all know that we often retreat to water – lakes, oceans, or canal boats even – to holiday, to restore and relax.

Water, in all its simplicity, is an unsung wellbeing superhero. Our wellbeing increases by 10% when we are outdoors for 30 minutes or more, but this increases by a further 8% when we are by water.

Water: the simple superhero

1)      It helps you to sleep better. Exposure to water can relax the body and mind unlike anything else. Think about how many meditative or ‘white noise’ sounds involve running water or listening to the rain. The sounds help to clear the mind of unwanted distractions and thoughts and this allows your body to relax into a deeper sleep.

2)      It releases the happy hormone – scientists have shown that looking at water, such as waterfalls or bubbling streams, floods the brain with feel-good hormones meaning that people who are regularly exposed to water generally feel happier and more relaxed.

3)      It is therapeutic. Getting involved in an activity near or in water can reduce stress and fight the negative thoughts associated with anxiety and depression. Think swimming, fishing, or simply walking along a river and you are on the right track.

4)      It strengthens your immune system by default. If you are more relaxed and/or engaging in physical activities such as walking or swimming, it can have a positive effect on your immune system. (Think of it as a multitasking wellbeing superhero!)

5)      Keeping hydrated helps! Yes, we snuck this one in. Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status and being well hydrated has a massive impact on both energy levels and brain function.

6)      Ocean air has health benefits so head to the shoreline and take a deep breath. The negative ions in sea air accelerate your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and balance your serotonin levels.

7)      Water helps you to shift perspective by looking at the bigger picture. If you are an overthinker, the vastness, power, and strength of water (think of the crashing of waves or the force of a waterfall) can help you to switch off from racing thoughts and focus on being present in the moment.

What do you love about water?

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