Boating Is Beneficial: Develop Relationships and Ease Your Mind
Science says the boating is good for your health. That statement isn't just limited to your physical well-being either. Being out on the water can build and improve relationships like nothing else can. Additionally, it can also be used to put your mind at ease. If you've ever felt the need to get away from it all, maybe you've experienced the magic of having your worldly cares melt away while spending some time on the water.
Most of us have long suspected that boating had some sort of intrinsic benefit, but now there is scientific proof to back it up! So the next time your spouse is giving you a hard time about going fishing, maybe you can share this article and explain how mentally healthy it can be to spend time boating. To take that thought a step further, perhaps your spouse can come along for the most effective team-building activity ever!
Red and Green Spaces
City dwellers are probably quite familiar with the idea of red and green spaces, even if those particular names aren't attached to the concept. Red spaces are industrial parks packed with skyscrapers and apartment buildings. These are the kind of surroundings that can quickly make its inhabitants feel drained. Spending too much time in the city is a terrible feeling. If you've spent a lifetime in a red space you might not realize how different things can actually feel, until you get into a green space.
Green spaces can be small. Your local park is a good example, but the feeling gained from a green space is multiplied by how large it is. If you've ever gone hiking into the middle of the wilderness you probably feel the difference from your head to your toes. It feels like a cleanse. Green spaces are great for putting your outside of yourself and all the seemingly important problems that take up residence in our minds on a daily basis.
Dangers of Red Spaces
It has been scientifically proven that the risk for some major mental illnesses are significantly higher in dense urban centers. Anxiety, mood and addictive disorders, and various kinds of psychosis such as schizophrenia. The reasons can be speculated endlessly. Social stress and social adversity, an ironic sense of loneliness or isolation, or even just an early exposure to infection can make the brain more susceptible towards developing schizophrenia later in life.
This phrase was coined by renowned marine biologist Dr. Wallace Nichols who authored the book Blue Mind. Blue Mind is the singular book that inspired the writing of this article. Similar to green spaces, a blue space reverses the damaging psychological effects that can occur when spending too much time in a red space. Size also matters with blue spaces, just as it does with green spaces but even smaller blue spaces like a bathtub, jacuzzi, or pool can allow you to reap the benefits without needing to leave the house. It works in a pinch, but the largest changes are seen when out on a lake or ocean.
Speaking of, please keep our blue spaces beautiful and always practice environmentally-conscious boating practices.
What Kind of Changes?
Emotional health is an emerging science that has been criminally overlooked throughout human history. Only now are we really starting to understand the true nature of emotions, and it all takes place in the brain's amygdala. We've observed some amazing changes in the amygdala while observing a subject simply looking at the water. Slower breathing, lowered skin temperatures, reduced heart rate are all scientifically provable signs that blue spaces are effective at calming those frayed nerves.
Subjects said they felt increased happiness, empathy, and overall wellness. Amazing as it might seem just observing a body of water can cause huge shifts in the brain. Blue spaces shut down the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for the endless planning and decision-making that inhabits daily life in a red space and allows us to simply think about ourselves or others. The sound of flowing water increases blood flow to the brain and induces relaxation that can lead to a feeling of catharsis.
All of these wonderful changes can be quickly undermined by stepping onto a dirty boat. Keep your vessel looking sparkling clean from bow to stern with boat scuff erasers and boat cleaner wipes with UV protectant!
Now that we've scientifically proven the value of blue spaces to the individual, we should probably take a look at just how spending time on the water can improve all aspects of a relationship. The physiological changes that we've covered already have a huge impact on interpersonal relationships which makes good sense. If you're not focusing on planning and problems then you're able to live in the moment.
The blue space allows you and your friends, kids, spouse, or whoever to bond during a time when your brain is finally able to take a break from the stress overload and attention fatigue that have unfortunately become ingrained as a part of our daily life. I suspect that you're able to think back to a time on the water with someone. Whether that means fishing with your grandparents, boating with your sweetheart, kayaking with the kids.
Blue spaces seem to have a very special compartment in the mind that creates memories that quite literally last a lifetime. In addition, the confined spaces and teamwork needed to successfully operate a vessel is a team-building exercise unlike any other. You will converse easier and listen better with all of those distractions melting away. Each time you head back to the water, those feelings will come flooding back. As they say, neurons that fire together wire together and that is a beautiful thing.