Does the Beach Make Us Happier?
We’ve all joked about how much easier life would be if we could always live at the beach. This is especially so when on vacation at a place like Mukul. We’ve dreamt of our own personal seaside reality - waking up every day with a surfboard by our side or a morning, sunrise yoga session as the only agenda item on our schedule before noon. There’s no doubt that a week away from our typical routine is healthy for us; we reenergize our minds and bodies and better prepare ourselves to seize the day, wherever home may be. But new scientific research suggests our ties to nature and water have long been ingrained in us, and, at our core, are essential to our health and wellbeing.
Our love of the ocean dates to centuries ago: Being in or near water has always been believed to harbor healing, transformational properties. Health writer and author Carolyn Gregory states: “Since ancient times, humans have assigned healing and transformational properties to water. In early Rome, baths were an important part of cultural life, a place where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calming setting. In ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal wisdom, and traditional Chinese medicine, the water element is crucial to balancing the body and creating physical harmony. Rivers have long been seen as sacred places, and in a number of different spiritual contexts, water has symbolized rebirth, spiritual cleansing and salvation.”
Spa Mukul includes six experiences housed in six individual, private spa suites, each equally harnessing a different ancient healing tradition, often using local Nicaraguan ingredients.
But new research suggests this isn’t entirely a concept we merely believe to be true, nor is it one that’s only relevant to ancient times – it holds true now, in our everyday lives. The positive correlation between nature and wellbeing are quite powerful, allowing us to disconnect from the technological, urban bubble we usually surround ourselves in, recalibrating our relationship with ourselves and nature.
Research conducted by Frontiers in Psychology proves being immersed in nature leads to stress reduction and improved immune system function. “Contact with nature has been tied to health in a plenitude of studies. Time spent in and around tree-lined streets, gardens, parks, and forested and agricultural lands is consistently linked to objective, long-term health outcomes.” Aversely, long exposure to urban areas and a lack of greenery can lead to a decline in health.
Further to positive benefits of nature on the human body, the ocean is linked to contain a vital piece of this wellbeing quotient. According to research, minerals in the sea air reduce stress and help fight free radicals, improving our sense of alertness and concentration. The presence of salt water also preserves tryptamine, serotonin, and melatonin levels in the brain, which aid in diminishing depression. This is also linked back to wellness – simply hearing waves beating against the coast improve our sense of relaxation, putting us in a more centered, meditative state of being. A study by Michigan State took this research one step further, proving that visibly being able to see the ocean from your home increases your levels of happiness and health, when compared to those who live inland.
With such powerful research linking wellbeing to the ocean, it’s easy to see why a trip to a seaside oasis is positive for your health. We hope to see you at Mukul soon, for a relaxing setting here. rest and rejuvenation is paramount.