Life is better on the water

Aerial view of boat

—The psychological benefits of boating—

Whether you’re an expert captain who can navigate any vessel with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back, or a beginner who has never stepped foot on a boat, there is only one thing you both need to know, boating has a positively impactful benefit on your mind. I won’t sit here and bore you with the technicalities on how this is proven, but Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, has proven that there is a scientific connection between water and happiness. Let me boil down the countless hours of research and tons of money spent by psychologists on how our minds work, into two simple categories: Red Mind and Blue Mind. What is Red Mind? Well, Red Mind, also known as an “edgy high” it’s all of our stress and anxiety that we experience throughout the various stages of our life. Those stressors include money, work, and all of those little issues you run into every single day, like traffic on the parkway or a long line in the coffee shop or even your boss telling you that the project you spent 80 hours on wasn’t good enough and you’re going to have to re-do it. Well don’t worry, there is a cure! If you can guess, the cure to “Red Mind” is nothing more than”Blue Mind”. The antidote is something so clean, so pure, allowing the individual to reach a mild meditative state in which you can reach true peacefulness, calmness and unity, all of which are associated with… **drum roll please**… the water.

For those of you who might not believe this scientific proof, there’s only one thing to do, you have to try it out for yourself. Boating is one of those hobbies where you need to actually experience it to get the full effect. You can watch all the videos you want, or read all the articles you see but they only way to cure that pesky little Red Mind is the water. Boating triggers a restful state. Being on the water eliminates all those boring and mundane routines you do day in and day out. Look at it is a reset button. Statistics have shown that Americans are taking less vacations as time goes on, leaving no opportunity to hit that reset button, but what if I told you there was a way to push it once maybe twice a week, the only thing you need is a boat and the open water. Coming from someone who is biased (and recently new to the boating world) I can attest that there is sense of euphoria when you look up and see nothing but blue water and open sky. “Free” is the first feeling that comes to mind. Mental health is just as important, if not arguably more important, then physical health. Going back to what Dr. Wallace said, neuroscientists can now pinpoint in your brain where emotions come from, the scientific term is called amygdala. And what did these scientists find you might ask? They found that even just looking at water can trigger feelings of wellness, compassion, empathy and happiness in addition to a more relaxed sense of breathing and heart rate. Well if all that can happen from just looking at it , imagine would would happen if you’re actually on water!

Ok, if you’re still thinking “No I still don’t buy it , how can water make me happy?” Well I’ll throw some more science at you, a study conducted in 2017 by Wakefield Research found that 4 in 5 Americans say being around water relaxes them, and a whopping 72% say they feel healthier after spending time on the water (we can say thank you to the Sun and all that vitamin D). Aside from all of these facts, being on a boat promotes an overall stress reducing bonus as well as a proven lowered level of dopamine and serotonin, two internal organic chemicals that make us feel exhausted and depressed.

So, let’s just do a small recap, BUY A BOAT! (Just Kidding). But in all reality, boating does in fact lead to a happier, less stressful and an all around healthier life. Boating brings families and friends closer as well as creating lasting memories you will never forget. Water is an essential part of life, not just for survival in the literal sense but also the greater overall psychological part of life we all need. Remember, Blue Mind is the perfect cure to the Red Mind you experience today, tomorrow, and probably for the rest of your life. Listen to the doctors and do yourself a favor, go buy a boat, charter a yacht, whatever you can do, do, to make sure you and your family get out on the only thing that makes you happy from a quick little glance; water.