Why are blue spaces so important for your wellbeing?
Green spaces are well known for the benefit they can have on your wellbeing, but can the same be said for blue spaces? In short, yes.
A blue space is pretty much anywhere there is an area of water. That includes oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes – man-made blue spaces such as canals, reservoirs and fountains also count. And as it turns out, spending time around them can have a hugely positive impact on your well-being. Some evidence has even suggested that blue spaces are even more powerful than green spaces.
Usually, we’re all about keeping you sheltered from water with our umbrellas, however for this blog we’ll be diving into the power of blue spaces and the science behind the benefits.
Water facilitates exercise
We all know how beneficial exercise is for your wellbeing. And while you can exercise pretty much anywhere, water can help facilitate all sorts of activities. From a relaxing paddleboard or swim in a calm river, to a thrilling surf through crashing waves, blue spaces provide amazing opportunities to get active.
Exercising not only has a huge impact on your physical health, but it also encourages the production of your body’s feel-good hormones which help to lift your mood and lower stress levels.
Strengthens your relationship with the natural world
When it comes to spending quality time in the natural world, it’s not just about being close to nature, it’s about being in nature. The same is true for blue spaces. Whether you’re physically in the water or not, or sheltering behind one of our sturdy windproof umbrellas on a blowy afternoon, try paying attention to it. Listen to it, appreciate it. This is what can help you to build a stronger relationship between yourself and the natural environment.
Having this deeper connection has a positive impact on your wellbeing and also make you more appreciative of wild blue spaces. And if you want to protect and preserve them, it’s a wonderful idea to get involved with local charities and initiatives where you can meet new people and help look after the natural world.
It calms your mind and body
If you’re not quite in the mood for exercising, being around water also has the ability to calm and quieten your mind and body.
Imagine the slow, rhythmic sound of waves gently crashing against the shore, or the rush of a fast-flowing river. Have you ever used these sounds to help you fall asleep? Or to focus on your work? This is partly because the sound of water is an example of pink noise.
Like white noise, pink noise is a type of background ambience, but it is at a lower pitch than white noise, making it a kind of steady hum rather than higher pitched static. The lower frequencies of pink noise are what makes it have a relaxing, meditative effect on your mind. As well as listening to the sounds of a blue space, the movement of water itself with all the sways, swirls, ripples and reflections of light can also be relaxing to watch.
Being in the water, whether you’re swimming, paddling or just dipping your toes in, can have an even greater effect. It can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, sending your body into a state of calm.
The colour blue is also known for to have a calming effect on people. While water technically isn’t blue, the light that bounces off it gives it a gorgeous shade of aqua which helps you unwind just by looking at it. All of this combined means that being around blue spaces can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
There are a huge variety of blue spaces to enjoy in the UK, from vast lakes, to glistening seas, to urban blue spaces nestled in the middle of towns and cities. So, next time you find yourself in or around a blue space, take a break if you can to sit, paddle, swim, sail, and enjoy the soothing effects of water.