Water is good for your health
For years, city planners worked to improve green spaces because of the known health benefits. That means more parks, trails, trees, and gardens grace municipalities across the country than before. But what about blue spaces? According to marine biologist, Wallace J. Nichols, blue space may have more profound implications than green space for emotional and physical wellness.
What is blue space?
Water of any sort – rivers, streams, marinas, lakes and ponds, the ocean, and even canals, pools and fountains – fall into the category of blue space. As urbanization grows globally, the distance from natural water sources increases for all populations making accessible blue space less available.
A study on residential blue space versus green space showed that blue space, the ability to see and access water or water features, showed marked decreases in psychological stress over green spaces and might promote higher mental well-being in city-dwellers.
Subconsciously, most people know that water equals relaxation. That’s why beaches and cruises are popular vacation destinations. Even park ponds and fountains appear to trigger the effect of psychological rest and de-stressing properties.
Adding blue space to your life
While you may not own beach-front property or have a stream running through your yard, you can take steps to add water features to your life.
- Add a fountain or pond to your garden. Installing a koi pond or fountain in your backyard adds to your landscaping value and creates an on-site retreat from city noises.
- Install a pool or hot tub. While not as close to “nature,” even pools and hot tubs contribute to the relaxation water provides. Floating on your pool on a warm summer day transports your mind to faraway places.
- Place an indoor water feature. Fountain walls and even tabletop fountains promote the water acoustics that shut out stressful sounds.• Go fishing. Being near the water, even periodically, de-stresses and improves well-being.
- Set up an aquarium. Studies show that gazing at fish swimming in water improves relaxation. Called aquarium therapy, exposure to water environments induces stress reduction in humans, including lowered heart rates, increased positive mood, and therapeutic effects.
- Take a bath. If you can’t access a water feature, a warm bath or shower can improve your well-being as the sound and warmth of water allow your mind to wander as you relax.
For ultimate results, however, access to natural water sources does the most to improve mood and mental restoration. If you’re looking for a home with access to water, let your real estate professional know.