Your Brain on a Boat

Published on August 26th, 2018

Recent research has confirmed what many boaters already know – you experience emotional, behavioral and psychological benefits being near, in, on or under water, and while participating in activities like boating.

One of the leading researchers on the health benefits of the water is Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, the bestselling book on the scientific connection between water and happiness.

Working with Discover Boating, an initiative managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association that promotes boating, Dr. Nichols has begun to explore the wellness benefits associated with boating.

We now know, thanks to science, that the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin and inducing relaxation.

“Red Mind” is a state of mind described as an “edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety and fear.” While stressors such as money and work influence people, there are new stressors associated with urbanization and a constant tether to technology that offer little respite from the demands of today’s world.

An antidote to “Red Mind” is “Blue Mind”—a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness associated with the water.

Boating triggers a restful, “Blue Mind” state of mind. It provides the means to get outside of daily routines, allowing our brains to reset. Being on a boat promotes physiological and psychological changes spanning health and wellness, awe and wonder, creativity and play, happiness and relaxation.

Research has shown getting out on the water in a boat promotes a restful state, with various physiological and psychological benefits. With an increased number of Americans taking less vacation*, boating is the perfect way to unwind and relax as it:

• Rests our brains
• Is meditative
• Is awe-inspiring
• Promotes play and induces creativity
• Appeals to our senses

*Gallup, Dec. 4-11, 2017

 

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