Re•lax (verb). Make or become less tense or anxious.
Today I needed a reminder to relax. I thought that perhaps some of you might need the reminder as well. One of my favorite places to relax, to become less tense or anxious, is along the shoreline of the ocean.
According to stress.org, to effectively combat stress we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. When we activate this response our metabolism decreases, our heart beats slower and our muscles relax, our breathing becomes slower, our blood pressure decreases, and our levels of nitric oxide are increased.
Abdominal breathing for 20-30 minutes a day reduces anxiety and stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.
The website lists a variety of techniques. Personally, I typically practice deep breathing during my meditation time.
While many of the studies are still relatively new, the results of the studies show that living close to blue spaces (lakes, rivers, and the sea) report higher levels of physical activity, and that interaction with blue spaces can have a positive effect on mental health-especially in the areas of stress reduction and perceived well being.
According to this article, staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us in a mild meditative state.
Sound of Waves.
According to the same article, the ebbing and flowing that you hear destimulates the brain. The noises along with the visual activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
Remember that system from the deep breathing information?
Yeah, the one that is responsible for slowing us down and helping us to relax.
It’s also thought that the negative ions that are found in the air at the ocean and around waterfalls may also contribute to our sense of calm.
It does state that along with these scientific facts, there may be a level of placebo effect that takes place since we are conditioned to find the ocean calming.
I know that it isn’t as wonderful as actually walking along the shoreline, but are you feeling more relaxed?
I sure hope so!
Let your light shine!
12 thoughts on “Relax”
Beautiful post and I particularly welcomed the blue-based photographs. The ocean and blue skies are my favourite views. My favourite colour is blue and I wonder if this is a subconcious appreciation of what you describe x
Thank you so much! I find the blues and greens of nature to be particularly soothing. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and photos! 🙂
I agree .. colours of nature and the oceans 🤗
Thanks, Amy, your post was exactly what I needed! Merci! And I agree that the Oceans shore is the perfect place for calmness and relaxation. Have I mentioned I just booked a few accommodations for our summer vacation along the Washington and Oregon coast 😉 ?? Only problem it is still a galaxy away….
I’m glad you enjoyed the post Marcus! I’ll bet the Washington and Oregon coast is breathtaking. Time seems to fly so I’m sure it’ll be here before you know it! 😉
Mmm, I could feel myself relax as I read your words. I think I’m overdue for a trip to the beach. Beautiful calming post Amy. x 💙
Thanks so much Miriam!! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s always a great time for a trip to the beach!! <3
Beautiful photos. Breathing is so important and I do it wrong most of the waking hours. :/ I’m a green spaces person, but blues work for me, too.
Just… quite a drive 😉
Thanks Joey! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.
I’m pretty sure that I breathe improperly during most of my waking hours too. I do find that I think about it sometimes though, so that’s progress.
I do love green spaces as well. There just aren’t many at this time of the year. However, we did hike again on Sunday and some of the smaller bushes are beginning to sprout some green!!! 🙂
I’ve lived near water my entire life and I can’t imagine not being close to a lake or river. The Great Lakes are so big, I imagine they are like living near the ocean … well, except they’re fresh water … and the sound of the waves is almost hypnotic. I’ve never thought of them as blue spaces, but it works for me!
This is the farthest I’ve lived from the ocean. We are only 30 or so minutes from Smith Mountain Lake and while my oldest has taken full advantage of it, we haven’t. We’re hoping to change that this summer. I do love the sounds of waves or even of a rushing stream. Very calming!