The Healing Power of Water

wet hand on water ripple
by Vance Larson

OMG! You’re having one of those days. Everything you touch turns into poison. Every word you speak is misunderstood. You’ve lost your keys. You spilled your coffee. And now all you want to do is tap out. You need a rewire. 

A rewire is like rebooting your brain

No-one is exempt from having a bad day. And for some of us, some of those bad days will turn into bad weeks and even months. Now more than ever, we are in need of a rewire. So what is a rewire? A rewire is like rebooting your brain. And for me, the best way to reboot is to visit the water. There is a calming effect that the water has over us. So much so, that there have been multiple studies. The power of water trumps the power of wonder. Here’s why.

Water can produce a meditative state. The movement and sound of the water cause our minds to relax. It helps cut down on depression, anxiety and stress while promoting mental clarity and an increase in healthy sleep patterns. Years ago when my wife and I experienced a string of bad luck, we were forced to downsize. Letting go of just about everything we owned, we took our last 100k and bought a little place on the coast of Delaware. And coming from high paying jobs that afforded us to have multiple houses, this clearly was not only a step-down, it ended up being a start over. Not the best or biggest house that we’ve ever owned. In fact, it was the smallest and worst. But, it was surrounded by water. Within 5 minutes I could be at multiple beaches. Within 15 minutes I could be at the ocean. This setback turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us.

Water has a way of opening up the creative channels. All one needs to do is park themselves at the beach and watch how easily it is to open up and have a meaningful conversation. It is like you don’t have to force or think. It comes naturally. And while we have studies that show the power of nature and just how it changes us. The power of water seems to be at the top of the list when it comes to increasing one’s mental health. There is something tangible about it.

The Blue Mind effect

Maybe because our brain is 75% water. Or maybe it is the Blue Mind effect, that is, the study of aquatic environments. The fact that the sight and sound of water can start a flood of neurochemicals that increase blood flow to both brain and heart is proof enough for me. Despite having less, I have never felt better in my life. And because I have spent my entire life working in mental health, I was always aware of the Blue Mind effect. Like most everybody, I experienced it from time to time on vacations. But now that I live by the water, there is a whole new level of thought and action that I have been afforded. My meditation practice has grown more in this one year than probably the last decade altogether.

So when the day goes south and everything seems to be going wrong—rewire. You don’t need to live at the beach. You don’t even need to go to the beach. A lake, pond or stream will do. And just as 5 minutes of direct sunlight will increase your mood. Throw in some water and you’ll have your rewire. And if water is nowhere to be found. Believe it or not, some gentle sounds of the ocean for 5 minutes can do the trick. Just close your eyes and plugin. Your life is already complicated however your rewire doesn’t have to be.

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