One of the most mystical and intriguing entities on our planet is the ocean and we’re fortunate enough to have access to it. Like the mind, the ocean is in constant motion and has several layers that go deeper than the surface. At the beach, the boundaries between sand, sea, and sky become blurred – all seem to play a role together, one depending on the other. There’s a lot we can learn from the ocean and meditating by the sea or even while visualising the sea has significant benefits for our mind and body. Below, let’s answer the question why looking at the sea is so calming.
5 Ways The Ocean Heals Our Mind, Body & Soul
1. Water Relaxes Our Brain
Studies have shown that visualising or staring at a water body inculcates a sense of calm into our being. Whether it’s the ocean or any pool of water, water is a vacation for our mind, it gives us the break we need to step away from the sensory overload of our everyday. The sight and sound of water is simpler for the brain to process, letting the brain relax and simply rest. This is why the sea is so calming for most people.
2. Water Is Meditative
Since the sound and sight of the ocean are easy for our brain to process, it creates a soft focus, much like when we’re in meditation or practising yoga. This soft focus allows us to enter a different state of awareness, a meditative state that has similar effects to mindfulness. This results in lower stress levels, improved mental clarity, relief from mild anxiety, and improved mood.
3. Accepting Thoughts
Our thoughts are like the waves of the ocean; they keep coming and going. The most important thing during meditation is to accept that thoughts are an integral part of our minds. Drawing from the ocean, we realise that riding over the top of these waves of thoughts just like surfers do can help us not drown in them and keep our focus intact. By accepting them the way they are, we stay calm and keep our balance.
4. Inspiring Creativity
This overall calming effect that water has on us also makes it easy for the brain to make new neural connections. These new connections give us the power to think of situations from a different perspective, a fresher, more creative perspective. According to marine biologist and author of Blue Mind Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, “That’s what flow is – relaxing into what you know well, and letting creativity happen. Water, literally and metaphorically, allows us to do that and allows you to move in all different directions. It takes away this relentless field of gravity that’s dragging us down, making us feel heavy. When we’re in the water, we get relief from that. If we have physical injuries and barriers in the water, those go away. If we’re clumsy on land, in the water we’re less so.”
5. Better Sleep
The smell of the ocean breeze contributes to a soothed state. This is because the oxygen atoms have an extra electron and occur in places where there’s water. This negative ion that we’re breathing treats symptoms of mental disorders like seasonal affective disorder. Sea air is also good for sleep as it’s cleaner, fresher and the higher levels of oxygen can improve our sleep quality.
If you’re not close to the ocean, ocean Meditation can help you get into a state of deep relaxation, inspired by the healing qualities of water. It promotes a sense of calm using the power of imagination to awaken your senses as the sounds, sights and smells of the seaside come alive in your mind. Connecting your breath to the waves of the ocean as you visualise the rhythmic movement can seal your heart, body, and mind with nature.
To embrace a deeper sense of calm, experience this Ocean Meditation by Abhishek Nailwal.
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