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Scientists Confirm Living Near Water Can Improve Mental Health

Scientists Confirm Living Near Water Can Improve Mental Health

We all love the scenic views of the ocean, lakes, streams and even ponds. There just seems to be something calming about water, and people everywhere stop to look when they see even a painting where water is featured. Beachfront vacations are the most popular around the world because we associate water with relaxation. So it wasn’t surprising when a recent study confirmed what we already know–water is good for the soul.

The study, published in the journal Health & Place, found that people who live near water have better mental health than those who don’t. It is thought that those who live near trees and lots of green space have an advantage, but the study discovered that water trumps trees every time. Researchers made sure to look at other factors as well, such as financial information and job stress, but they still found that to improve mental health, you must be able to see water from where you live. So what is it about water that gives it the power to improve mental health?

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Water puts things in perspective

ocean 2

    While this particular study focused on people living near the ocean, those who live close to lakes and rivers also know the calming effect that water has on them. There is something about seeing and hearing the movement of water that calms the soul. It’s so much bigger than you, your problems, your stress, that it seems to put things in perspective. Most of the time you don’t even realize you are gaining perspective on your problems by looking out at the water, but somewhere deep down, in your subconscious, it happens.

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    It could be the ocean air

    ocean 3

      A couple hundred years ago, ocean air was prescribed by doctors when patients were not doing well. Sometimes the only antidote they could suggest was to take the patient to the ocean for an extended time. There were times when this did not work, but for some, the ocean air was what they needed to get well. No doctor prescribes time by the ocean anymore, but maybe they should in some cases. The researchers who conducted this study are not sure what it is about the water that improves mental health, but whatever it is, we need more of it!

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      The tide could improve mental health

      ocean

        Well, not the tide alone, but the entire “order” of the ocean. No matter what’s going on in your life, or in the world, the ocean never stops. The tide comes in and out every day, right on time, regardless of what is happening. Waves continually come crashing to the shore, no matter what is going on inside or outside of the water. Maybe it’s the steadiness of the ocean that has the power to improve mental health.

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        What if you can’t live near water?

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          There are still things you can do to improve your mental health if it is not possible to live near water. Vast amounts of people live far inland, and there has to be something they can do for their mental health as well.

          Beachfront vacations are one suggestion, and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you can’t afford to go to a resort, why don’t you try vacationing by a closer ocean? For example, if you live in Canada, go to the West or East coast for a few days. Spend some quality time by the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean and take it all in. Picture your worries going out with the tide. You can also invest in some pictures or paintings of the ocean and display them in your home. Put ocean sounds on and spend a few minutes each day looking at these scenes and relaxing. This way you still get the sights and sounds of the ocean, even though you can’t physically be there.

          Another suggestion is to rent a cottage for a few days in the summer. Spend a few days at a nearby lake as often as possible. If you live close enough to a lake, you can even go for walks along the beach in any season. When you have the opportunity to be near water, take it. You’ll be amazed at what it will do to improve mental health.

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          Last Updated on December 18, 2018

          Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

          Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

          Are you one of those people who are always suffering setbacks? Does little ever seem to go right for you? Do you sometimes feel that the universe is out to get you? Do you wonder:

          Why do I have bad luck? Is bad luck real?

          A couple of months ago, I met up with an old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen since last year. Over lunch, we talked about all kinds of things, including our careers, relationships and hobbies.

          My friend told me his job had become dull and uninteresting to him, and despite applying for promotion – he’d been turned down. His personal life wasn’t great either, as he told me that he’d recently separated from his long-term girlfriend.

          When I asked him why things had seemingly gone wrong at home and work, he paused for a moment, and then replied:

          “I’m having a run of bad luck.”

          I was surprised by his response as I’d never thought of him as someone who thought that luck controlled his life. He always appeared to be someone who knew what he wanted – and went after it with gusto.

          He told me he did believe in bad luck because of everything happened to me.

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          It was at this point, that I shared my opinion on luck and destiny:

          While chance events certainly occur, they are purely random in nature. In other words, good luck and bad luck don’t exist in the way that people believe. And more importantly, even if random negative events do come along, our perspective and reaction can turn them into positive things.

          Your luck is no worse—and no better—than anyone else’s. It just feels that way. Better still, there are two simple things you can do which will reverse your feelings of being unlucky and change your luck.

          1. Stop believing that what happens in life is out of your control.

          Stop believing that what happens in your life is down to the vagaries of luck, destiny, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside yourself.

          Psychologists call this “external locus of control.” It’s a kind of fatalism, where people believe that they can do little or nothing personally to change their lives.

          Because of this, they either merely hope for the best, focus on trying to change their luck by various kinds of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes—while complaining that it doesn’t match their hopes.

          Most successful people take the opposite view. They have “internal locus of control.” They believe that what happens in their life is nearly all down to them; and that even when chance events occur, what is important is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.

          This makes them pro-active, engaged, ready to try new things, and keen to find the means to change whatever in their lives they don’t like.

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          They aren’t fatalistic and they don’t blame bad luck for what isn’t right in their world. They look for a way to make things better.

          Are they luckier than the others? Of course not.

          Luck is random—that’s what chance means—so they are just as likely to suffer setbacks as anyone else.

          What’s different is their response. When things go wrong, they quickly look for ways to put them right. They don’t whine, pity themselves, or complain about “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened to avoid or correct it next time and get on with living their life as best they can. They have this Motivation Engine, which most people lack, to keep them going.

          No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).

          When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just . . . random. Yet those who feel that they are less lucky, typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

          Your locus of control isn’t genetic. You learned it somehow. If it isn’t working for you, change it.

          2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.

          If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

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          In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will drown yourself in negative energy and almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

          Not long ago, a reader (I’ll call her Kelly) has shared with me about how frustrated she felt and how unlucky she was. Kelly’s an aspiring entrepreneur. She had been trying to find investors to invest in her project. It hadn’t been going well as she was always rejected by the potential investors. And at her most stressful time, her boyfriend broke up with her. And the day after her breakup, she missed an important opportunity to meet an interested investor. She was about to give up because she felt that she’d not be lucky enough to build her business successfully.

          It definitely wasn’t an easy time for her. She was stressful and tired. But it wasn’t bad luck that was playing the role.

          Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

          They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

          Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

          I explained to Kelly that to improve her fortune and have “good luck”, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to her; then try to focus on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

          Then Kelly tried to review her current situation objectively. She realized that she only needed a short break for herself — from work and her just broken-up relationship. She really needed some time to clear up her mind before moving on with her work and life. When she got her emotions settled down from her heartbreak, she started to work on improving her business’ selling points and looked for new investors that are more suitable.

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          A few months later, she told me that she finally found two investors who were really interested in her project and would like to work with her to grow the business. I was really glad that she could take back control of her destiny and achieved what she wanted.

          Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

          What’s Next?

          Now that you’ve learned the 2 simple things you can do to take control of your fate and create your own luck. But this isn’t it! These simple techniques you’ve learned here are just part of the essential 7 Cornerstone Skills — a skillset that will give you the power to create permanent solutions to big problems in life — any problem in any area of your life!

          If you think you’re “suffering from bad luck”, you can really change things up and start life over with these 7 Cornerstone Skills. It may even be a lot easier than you thought:

          How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

          Thomas Jefferson is said to have used these words:

          “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

          Your luck, in the end, is pretty much what you choose it to be.

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          Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

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