Why Water Makes Us Feel Calm

Many of us know that being around water makes us calmer and more creative. Science knows it, too: A recent study even showed that people who live near the ocean report feeling less stress and better health than those who don’t.

But what is it about water that makes us feel this way?

To be honest, it’s still a mystery, says Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at the University of Exeter.

“There seems to be something very special about water,” he told The Huffington Post. “But we don’t know yet exactly [what it is].”

White and his colleagues have conducted extensive research on the link between water and our mental state. Along with marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, who explores the topic in his book Blue Mind, they’re key players in creating a theory about why water possesses the calming qualities we’ve both seen in science and felt in our bodies.

Although we don’t know exactly why water makes us feel as it does, there are some pretty powerful ideas that totally justify a beachside walk, a summer lake trip or even a float in water-filled sensory deprivation pods.

Prepare to dive in… and never get out. This, as far as we know it, is your brain on water.

Water brings you to a calmer, more meditative state.

It’s all about catching a break from the screen-fueled, fast-paced rhythm of our modern lives, Nichols writes in Blue Mind. White’s colleagues agree: While people do experience a range of emotions by the ocean, many cite the way water, weather and sound interact to produce an overwhelming sense of mental tranquility.

And it can even slow down your brainwaves.

People who float — relaxing in pools of —> Read More