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Beachy Keen: 5 Scientific Reasons Why the Beach Makes People Happier

By Currituck Outer Banks

Photo by Deborah Sawyer Photography 

You’re sitting on the soft sand, warm sunshine enveloping your skin, mellow breeze combing through your hair and the steady sounds of the ocean resonating in your ears. The day is perfect.

Why is the day so perfect? Well, because you’re at the beach, of course. Studies have shown that being around nature, particularly water, has a pronounced calming effect upon the human mind. We’re not kidding around here — it’s science! So grab a towel and some sunscreen and head to your local paradise for some beach therapy.

1. There is a common belief among scientists that the amniotic fluid in the womb gives us a biological connection to water. Additionally, our bodies are 60-75% water and our brains, which are 77-78% water, rest in a watery fluid inside our skulls. Water is a part of us, and our brains know it.

2. The color blue (like water) is known to have a soothing, calming effect. In a poll, a majority of both genders selected blue as their favorite color.

3. The openness of a wide beach provides a sense of safety and security. In an open space, your unconscious mind can process that there are no hidden threats, and your inner caveman is able to stop worrying about whether there’s a saber-tooth tiger hiding behind the boulders or up in a tree.

4. Being at the beach generally requires that people unplug from the gadgets that tether them to things like work and email (which is often reason enough for the beach to make people happy). Additionally, many people visit the beach with their friends and loved ones, and they may have pleasant memories of seaside visits when a child. The combination of all of these things can factor into the pleasure produced in the hearts and minds of vacationers.

5. The sunlight soaking into our skin at the beach spikes our bodies’ production of Vitamin D and serotonin, releasing all kinds of feel-good chemicals in our brains.

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