Ever feel like you need a bit more Vitamin Sea? Maybe it’s because you really do! Recent studies have shown that going to the beach improves mental and physical health in a variety of ways. Research shows that spending time by the ocean is good for your wellbeing, and that people who live near the coast or in houses with a view of the ocean have better mental health than those who do not.

There are numerous reasons for these differences in wellbeing. First, the majority of people associate the color blue with feeling serene, peaceful, and creative. Second, the constant rolling of the ocean waves onto the beach destimulates the human brain, activating our parasympathetic nervous system and slowing down our minds. The constant noise and movement of the ocean waves make our minds relax. The smell of the ocean breeze also contributes to this relaxed feeling as a result of the negative ions in the air.

As humans we naturally associate the beach with relaxing and going on vacation. In a way, we have conditioned our bodies to relax when we think of the beach. However, to make the absolute most of your time by the water, try practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness has become very popular in recent years, and studies have found that mindfulness has numerous health benefits, including stress relief. At the beach, the best way to practice mindfulness is to turn off electronic devices, close your eyes, and focus on the sound of the waves coming in and out. Focus on all five of your senses and how you are feeling in that specific moment. Mindfulness can help shrink the area of the brain responsible for stress, and help the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, memory, and reasoning grow.

Make the most of your time by the sea and allow the beauty around you to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.