At first I said “Who cares why? I just am.” And, making my crying face, “Science is so BORING!”
But I forced myself to read the article. It was kind of long, and I am such a ‘bottom line’ girl. Cut to the chase, people, time is a-wastin’. But I did it, and I’m glad. Full of a ton of research, credentials, and impressive new terms like “neuroconservation,” originally written for Coastal Living magazine by Barry Yeoman, read the full article here.
Some of it is intuitive, some we already know – the color blue produces feelings of relaxation – but the rest may surprise you.
- Most pleasurable sounds have predictable wave patterns and harmonic frequencies at regular intervals – the ocean.
- Displeasurable sounds cause our bodies to release the stress hormone, cortisol – traffic and airplane noises.
- We have evolved as a species to find safety in environments that are not complex.
- In the woods scary animals may be lurking, in the city we could get mugged. At the beach there is nowhere for evil to hide or poke a gun in our face.
- This doesn’t sound like science, but it is. Experiments with mice prove that including natural elements in our lives helps recalibrate our response to stress.
- Digging in the sand may help us respond better to the stupid things that torque our days, like being stuck in traffic on I-4.
A BEACH EXPERIENCE IS BETTER THAN PIZZA
- We all know what a pizza is worth (a million dollars, sometimes) but you can’t put a dollar value on the experience of floating around in the ocean with your three grown kids after celebratory beers and wine, watching the sunset, laughing about everything and nothing.*
- “You can’t trade it. It’s in your memory,” says Scott Huettel, Ph.D., the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Science at Duke University.
The looks on Dad’s and Mom’s faces in these old photos is priceless, for me. Whether it’s because of negative ions that have been linked to mental energy and emotional well-being, or just because of that “holy hell, we are so lucky to be at the beach” expansion in our hearts, we are happy at the beach.
*That evening I spent some time regretting not having my camera with me. Then I realized I don’t need photos. I will always remember this, I can’t trade it. It’s in my memory.