Not everyone achieves Blue Mind in the same way. It’s a concept that is extremely personal – and that’s why it’s so effective to boosting your mental, emotional, and even physical health. By contrast, Red Mind is your body’s stress response gone haywire. It can be activated when you’re worried about your mortgage bill, when you’re caught in traffic, or when you’re in pain.
Red Mind has been scientifically proven to cause and/or worsen anxiety, depression, and serious chronic disease. As you encounter little stressors throughout the day, your stress hormones are constantly switched into the “on” position. Your levels remain too high and keep you in a constant elevated state.
For those who have access to oceans, rivers, lakes, or other “wild” water sources – Blue Mind is highly achievable with very little work on your part. Humankind has evolved over millennia to have a deep connection to water for many reasons. It plays an enormous role in our diet, travel, economy, and even spiritual traditions.
This soul-deep connection makes sense starting with the fact that we are made of 70% water. No matter the weather – hot, cold, sunny, or raining – simply parking at the beach and looking at the water can change your mood almost instantly. The same is true for rivers and lakes. The sound of water, the way the light reflects on it, and the unknown happening under the surface makes it possible for humans to connect to something bigger.
These benefits are scientifically proven even if you don’t physically touch the water. Spending a day at the beach, on a lake, or along the river with family and friends – eating, laughing, and soaking up the atmosphere – is incredible for your mind, body, and spirit. If you have the option to swim, surf, snorkel, dive, raft, paddleboard, canoe, kayak, ski, or boat in wild waters, you are going to feel immediate and powerful results to your mental, emotional, and physical health
Achieving Blue Mind with the help of wild waters is wonderfully easy. Whether you just have your feet in the water, floating, treading water, or fully submerged with breathing gear, you can tap into the power of water.
Not long ago, the suggestion that exercise, reducing stress, eating well, and getting enough sleep were critical to human health was considered “fringe” and unsubstantiated. Now, most health practitioners agree that these are the basis of wellness – and research supports it.
Beyond the fundamental and well-documented role water plays in hydration and hygiene, a new story of water’s role in promoting, restoring, and maintaining our health is emerging. A new conversation is evolving that considers access to healthy waters, lakes, rivers, and oceans in the context of cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual health.
People from around the world and across cultures have sought water’s unique capacities to restore, relax, focus, and engage our senses. In this way, water makes the perfect medium to inspire, foster, and cultivate the condition of mindfulness and overall happiness.
The sound, the way it feels against your skin, the size and shape and weight of it. There’s a feeling that you’re part of something bigger than yourself…something beautiful. Feel your tension ebbing away, your stress, your worry. Be part of the water, a random drop that moves with all the other drops. Free, relaxed, and at one with the world at large. You are beneath the surface, effectively inside the Earth, at peace with yourself and your purpose.
Close your eyes. Allow yourself to drift in the moment, to experience all of it to your core. Clear your mind. Slowly breathe in, hold it for three seconds, exhale, and repeat. Recite your affirmation. Bring yourself back to the present slowly, gently. Take several more deep, cleansing breaths. Open your eyes. Take that sensation with you. Revisit it often. This is Blue Mind.
Bring a pool noodle or raft with you when you visit wild water so that you can easily enjoy the experience of floating freely. Using a flotation device removes the anxiety of trying to remain afloat – giving you the freedom to focus on your connection to the water.