Blue Therapy: how being around water can help your mental health
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 15-21st May this year. The official theme, as set by the Mental Health Foundation, is ‘anxiety’.
Most of us struggle with poor mental health at some point in our lives, and if you are one of the 8 million people in the UK that do, we understand it can feel challenging to stay afloat.
But there is hope. Taking a break from our daily lives and spending time in nature can help boost our mental and emotional health.
In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of Blue Therapy and share some ideas on how you can incorporate it into your self-care routine to help with your mental health.
What is Blue Therapy?
Blue therapy is the practice of spending time in nature near blue spaces, such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean, as a form of self-care that is good for your mental health, to have a calming and soothing effect on your mind.
Studies have proven that Blue Therapy can promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, boost creativity, and improve overall well-being, making it an effective way to manage stress and anxiety.
The Benefits of Blue Therapy
Boosts Mental Health
One major benefit of Blue Therapy is that it can have a significant impact on our mental health. Being around water can decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase serotonin levels, the key hormone that stabilises overall mood, feelings of wellbeing, and happiness. Water has a unique ability to soothe the body, helping us feel more present and peaceful when we are by the sea, lakes, rivers, or even whilst we are taking a shower.
Helps Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is the fuel our bodies need to thrive, and yet up to 40% of people regularly experience sleep disorders such as insomnia. Fortunately, Blue Therapy is known to have a positive impact on sleep due to its calming effect. Even the sounds of nature in blue spaces, such a trickling stream or crashing waves, can help to lower stress - which is why you’ll often find them on meditation tracks or played in yoga classes.
We often find ourselves feeling more creative when we are outside, surrounded by nature. When you are near blue environments, you’re away from technology, free of work pressures and to-do lists, allowing you to be more present and relaxed. This leads to increased creative ability and productivity, whether you’re painting, reading, writing or simply staring at the water.
Brings Physical Benefits
Blue therapy can also have physical benefits, particularly for those dealing with chronic pain or stress. Bathing or swimming in water or even simply taking salt baths, is known to reduce inflammation, rejuvenate the body, and provide relief from pain. So, while you’re experiencing the mental and emotional health benefits of Blue Therapy, you can also improve your physical wellbeing.
Lastly, Blue Therapy can be a wonderful way to bond and connect with others. Whether you're taking a family trip to the beach or going for a walk by the lake with your partner, being near water is a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones in a peaceful environment.
Easy ways to incorporate Blue Therapy into your everyday life
Here are some tips for getting Blue Therapy into your daily routine, even on the days when you can’t get to the sea or a blue space.
Take a walk in nature
There's something magical about taking a walk in nature, especially by the sea, river or lake. Not only does it offer a chance to get some fresh air and exercise, but studies have shown that being in nature can reduce stress and improve overall mental health. If you don’t have a blue space local to you, take time to look to the sky whilst you are walking. Simply looking at the colour blue can help calm the mind.
Listen to nature sounds
An easy way to incorporate Blue Therapy into your everyday life is to listen to nature sounds. You can download ocean waves or river sounds and listen to them while you work, study or before bedtime. This can help soothe your mind, create a calming effect, and give you a sense of solitude.
Take a salt bath
Taking a relaxing salt bath can offer numerous benefits for both the body and mind. Not only does the warm water help to ease tired muscles and joints, but the addition of natural sea salt can help to detoxify and soothe the skin. Plus, the act of soaking in warm water can be a great way to unwind after a long day, allowing you to destress and calm your mind.
Using salt inhalation or scent is another way to incorporate Blue Therapy into your self-care routine. The smell of saltwater, ocean air, or sea lavender can have a calming effect on your mind and body. You can use products such as our 6-Oil Super Serum, which contains organic lavender, to help you wind down before bedtime, or pop a handle of sea salt into a bowl of hot water and take a few minutes of deep breaths, to help soothe and relax the body.
The Importance of Blue Therapy
Blue Therapy is an effective way to soothe your mind, calm your soul, and boost your overall well-being. Whether you choose to spend time near the water or bring blue therapy elements into your home, incorporating Blue Therapy into your self-care routine can have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health. We hope this blog post has given you some ideas and motivation to start practising Blue Therapy today. Remember, self-care is important, and you deserve time out to take care of your mental and emotional health.
Examples of Blue Therapy
The sounds of nature in blue spaces, such as the sound of flowing water, help to lower stress - which is why you’ll often find the sound of a trickling stream or crashing waves on meditation tracks.
But if you can’t be close to the sea, even walking by a stream or being next to a still pond, improves well-being and mood, having longer-lasting effects compared to walks in an urban setting, a study in 2020 found.
Wild swimming is one activity that has become particularly popular in recent years; it involves swimming in natural water sources such as rivers or lakes.
Wild swimming is seen to be an effective way of relieving stress and anxiety, with fresh, open waters being great for our physical and emotional well-being.
Research has also shown that cold exposure from wild swimming can help to boost mood and reduce inflammation in the body.
Meditating by water is another way to incorporate blue therapy into your self-care routine. Taking some time to sit and observe the sound and movement of the water can help you feel more grounded and centred.
If you can't get to a natural source of water or simply don't have the chance to do so, you can still benefit from Blue Therapy. Just sitting near a fountain, listening to nature sounds, or running a bath can provide the healing power of nature?
How can Blue Therapy help you with anxiety?
In today's fast-paced world, where stress and anxiety have become a common part of our lives, taking care of our mental health has become more important than ever.
If you suffer from anxiety, here are a few ways you can incorporate Blue Therapy into your self-care routine to bring a sense of calm, allowing you to connect with nature and be present in the moment.
Some ideas for Blue Therapy to help anxiety include; wild swimming, walking by the water, meditating by the water, taking a book and sitting by the sea/river and listening to the sound of water.