Why Being In, Around, Near Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier

Why Being In, Around, Near Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier

Why Being In, Around, Near Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier

Courtesy of Wallace J Nichols PhD, Renee Nelson, and Lily Moy.

Wallace J Nichols PhD publicly asked, “Many of you have asked how you can support #bluemind more at this time of great need. I’m sharing this message from a fellow patron, Renee Nelson. Renee has asked that you use it as a template to communicate your own reasons for investing in #bluemind.

Renee Nelson writes, “I hope to reach my goal of 2020 patrons so we can share #bluemind with many more people who need it — those on the front lines, from journalists and first responders to nurses and essential business owners — we can’t let them burn out.

Being a journalist and working in television news is non-stop information overload. A lot of what we hear, see and communicate is tragic, urgent and often a display of the worst in human behavior. It puts me into “red mind” mode daily.

Water is my coping mechanism and has been for the past few years. I actively implement being near, in, on and under water for moments of relief from stress and anxiety.

I learned this method from Dr. Wallace J Nichols and his New York Times best-selling book Blue Mind. I was fortunate to discover Blue Mind at a time I needed it most, after finding myself deep in “gray mind”.

With the anxiety and stress of a pandemic and forced isolation, now is a time we all need additional proven tools for coping. The Blue Mind message and the work behind it has never been more important and vital for our mental health and wellbeing.

The financial need is small for the massive impact your dollar has. An investment of a US$1/month (US$12/year) shares the global #bluemind wellness groundswell at a time when the world needs it most. Visit patreon.com/bluemind to share this health and wellness gift

Dr. Nichols talks about the benefits of being in, near and around water with Nelson here on Fox10.

While Dr. Nichols explains why water can make humans happier and healthier, 15-year-old Lily Moy describes how the coronavirus pandemic is, coincidentally, leading to the improved health of the world’s waterways.

Coronavirus Leads a Lesson on Global Emissions

The COVID-19 pandemic has people wrapped around its finger; people are focused on how it is affected their daily life and are googling statistics left and right for fear that they might be the next victim. Whether it’s worrying about a family member who is in a high risk age group, or complaining that there is nothing to do around the house, the virus has changed people’s daily lives – and maybe forever.

While it is hard to take your attention away from the growing panic, some absolutely unexpected miracles have come from this, potentially teaching the world a lesson that can be used forever.

For starters, fewer commuters heading into work everyday means lower levels of CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Since the virus started to spread around the world, there has been a significant decrease in global greenhouse gas emissions. China, the largest carbon emitter in the world, has observed a 25% decrease in their own carbon emissions, resulting in almost clear blue skies in Shanghai that residents have not been seen for decades.

Some city lockdown and quarantine results are shocking: photos of Times Square in New York City, usually full of tourists and flashing lights, are now found empty. Air quality researchers from NASA report that less nitrogen dioxide has been observed over China and Italy, two countries that are in a near total lockdown. Nitrogen dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is a result of combusting fossil fuels and is linked to serious health issues such as inflammation of the lungs and various birth defects. Measuring its concentration in the atmosphere can give scientists a good idea of the general amount of greenhouse gas emissions in a particular area.

Another serious benefit of keeping people in their homes is that the water running through Venice’s canals are found to be clear for the first time in decades due to the absence of boat traffic.

On the other hand, bogus rumors have spread through Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok about swans and dolphins returning to Venice’s canals too. The rumor of animals bouncing back during the pandemic are untrue and have been posted and retweeted by hundreds of people who are in search of something ‘comforting’ during these gloomy times. These people failed to check if these rumors were true before retweeting, thus creating extremely false news and a false sense of hope. The dolphins were, in fact, videoed miles away in the Mediterranean Sea. As for the swans? They’ve been there the whole time. Much more effort and time will be needed on our part to revive animals that have been pushed away by human colonization.

The closing of factories and jobs gives people less of a reason to leave their house and drive or take public transportation, as people generally know to avoid public areas. Taking millions of cars off the road is one of the most significant ways to cut back on global carbon emissions.

For some companies, shifting to remote working will be here to stay. It gives the company freedom in employee candidates because working from home allows them to hire people who live in remote areas, and it also decreases their rent for office space. Some are beginning to believe the Zoom or Skype calls are not such a bad idea for meetings after all.

A common belief is that since colleges, offices, and factories are all being closed down due to the need for social distancing, less waste is being produced and less electricity is being used. Although we would like to believe this, there is a catch. Because people are spending more time at home, it is likely that they are using more energy to power their appliances, heating or cooling their homes, and lighting. This may mean that the total energy that was used in a school or in an office at a given time has just been transferred to homes spread across the globe instead of actually decreasing the total amount of electricity being consumed.

It is easy for a person who has been home all day to browse websites and order something with the click of a button. Because of this, recent reports have seen a spike in online shopping and home delivery services, especially for groceries. This may also contribute to society’s total carbon footprint.

Scientists are quick to point out that climate change is not treated as seriously as the pandemic. Christopher Jones, lead developer of CoolClimate Network, claims “if we can think about how to prepare for climate change like a pandemic, maybe there will be a positive outcome to all of this.”

While the sharp drop in travel and carbon-producing activities will certainly be temporary after the emergency ends, scientists are keeping a close lookout on how political leaders learn that our climate is absolutely adaptive and can be changed if only the necessary actions are put in place. As economies start to reboot after the COVID-19 crisis, it is important that the economy reflects new values.

Will society learn to rethink the status quo and try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions once and for all? Or will the economy go back to its old ways?

Copyright © 2008 – 2020 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones