Advertising
Advertising

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?

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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!

      Advertising

      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.

        Advertising

        What if you can’t live near water?

        lake

          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.

          More by this author

          12 Quick And Safe Ways To Get Rid Of A Stye Science Unlocks The Secret To Why Introverts Prefer Alone Time To Socializing Mother And Daughter: A Long-Awaited Reunion After 82 Years 8 Habits Of People Who Look Younger Than Their Actual Age Why Women Suffer From Insomnia More Often Than Men (And Ways To Help!)

          Trending in Home

          1 10 Small Changes To Make Your House Feel Like A Home 2 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of 3 5 Reasons Why Tidying Your Room Can Change Your Life 4 25 Really Cool Cat Furniture Design Ideas Every Cat Owner Needs 5 Scientists Discover Why You Should Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering Your Home

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on July 2, 2020

          Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

          Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

          There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

          Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

          What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

          How can you get relief from neck pain?

          There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

          How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

          Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

          Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

          Advertising

          • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
          • How old are your mattress and pillow?
          • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
          • How do you manage stress?
          • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

          Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

          Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

          Remedies for Neck Pain

          Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

          1. Everyday Activities

          One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

          Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

          If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

          2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

          The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

          Advertising

          A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

          3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

          It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

          Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

          4. Stress and Stress Management

          Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

          5. Accident or Injury

          If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

          6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

          Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

          An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

          Advertising

          • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
          • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
          • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
          • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

           

          Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

          When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

          1. Gua Sha

          This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

          Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

          2. Swimming

          You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

          3. Chiropractic Massage

          Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

          The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

          When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

          Advertising

          I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

          You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

          What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

          Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

          A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

          • Cervical Manual Traction
          • Flexion-Distraction
          • Cervical Mobilization
          • Ultrasound
          • Cervical Drop Technique
          • Trigger Point Therapy

          There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

          The Bottom Line

          If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

          Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

          More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

          Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next