06 Mar The creative powers of the sea
I have mentioned my need to be back by the sea again. While I am feeling pretty creative, hours spent at the computer take their toll, and I woudl love to be by the sea again – even in winter. The winter sea with its frothy spume and anxious crashing and splashing is one of its many moods I love!
A psychological need for the sea
Not only do the sounds of the sea help our brains to relax and rest, but the repetitive sounds help lull us into a meditative state. We may not consciously do it, but the slow repetitive pattern of the waves coming onshore and then receding, naturally bring our focus to them. We may even enter a semi-trance state, just looking out at the sea without actively thinking about anything, and this is technically meditation. Being in this semi-trance state reduces our blood pressure and stress levels, and gives our bodies a little time out from life.
The beneficial effects of sea air and sounds also makes us less self-absorbed. We become more tuned into the needs and wants of others, so it is no surprise that so many engagements happen by the sea – followed by coastal weddings and honeymoons! It is also thought that as humans we are predisposed to like the color blue, and to see it as the color of calm and peacefulness. Being by the sea offers us great vistas of blue – sky as well as sea – which is probably why we respond so positively to a day at the beach, and return feeling so rested.
It is this same blast of color that relaxes us, eases our worries and helps us come up with new ideas, which is why we have more creative ideas than usual while we are on vacation. It isn’t just the freedom from everyday concerns, but the sea is actively helping us become peaceful enough to hear our own thoughts again. It is when we are able to find that more relaxed mental state, free of constant interruptions and visual stimulation, that we come up with new ideas – to uncover our creativity once more.
A physical need for the sea
Seawater can also help those of us with skin problems. When I was a kid salt water was often used to wash grazed knees because it was thought to help the skin heal more quickly. It seems this understanding of the value of salt as a healer plus the naturally occurring potassium chloride in sea water has been found to help seal damaged skin and allow it to heal more quickly.
It is also thought that despite our concerns for developing skin cancer, a small amount of ultra violet radiation helps dry the skin, making it flake off and for the layers to heal more quickly. If you think about it, doctors often prescribe light treatment for skin conditions…
The need for the sea
Not only have many of us experienced the benefits of being by the sea for ourselves, but in these highly stressful times, maybe we need to go there more often? To read more about the benefits of being by the sea, I recommend Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.