Why does living near water make us happier?

Why does living near water make us happier?

One should go to the beach to cure a cold or melancholy. Why – great truth – live near the water it is good in all aspects (physical and psychological). After all, it is no secret that living in contact with Nature is a good for health, especially the mental one. And the green areas of the world are the most talked about, or even coveted. Give it Shirin-yoku Japanese, the so-called bathroom in the forest so calming as to even reduce the heart rate, according to the most recent epidemiological studies, which have confirmed that contact with nature is pure well-being, the practices that demonstrate the beneficial power of trees, plants and water are many. A search for Mathew White, professor at the University of Exeter in the UK. Together with his collaborators, in 2013, he examined the data relating to British removals, revealing that people who have left the cities for the green zones of the planet have found significant benefits for mental well-being. “For the first time, the idea that green spaces alleviate depression has been confirmed”, as stated in Internazionale in the article by Catherine de Lange published in the New Scientist. And the blue spaces? “The idea that blue spaces are better than green ones began to emerge about ten years ago, when Susana Mourato of the London School of Economics e George Mackerron of the University of Sussex in the UK have published a groundbreaking study. They have recruited more than twenty thousand people across the country. Participants had to use an application for smartphone asking them how they felt at random times of the day and to send the answers at that precise moment, “says the journalist. The result? Collected and analyzed a million responses, the researchers found that near marine and coastal areas people were happier.

The BlueHealth project, carried out by a consortium of European researchers, also compared life in green areas with life in blue areas. And for physical and mental well-being, live near the water turned out to be the best scenario. Of course, personal or business success remains the expedient for happiness. “But today”, according to Mathew White, “two major studies show that low-income people living by the sea are mentally and physically healthier than one would expect given their greater exposure to the main factors of decreased well-being,” like unemployment “. And so, while the city divides, the coast unites. Because? According to numerous studies, such as the one on biophilia of the scientist Edward Osborne Wilson, our brain always unconsciously seeks a link with nature because it is the environment in which the human being has evolved. The marine coast, then, particularly fascinates us. “The tides rise and fall, the waves lap the shore, the sun shines on the horizon. In addition to this movement, there are changes in sound and even in light that are not felt in a park or forest. These environmental changes have a relaxing energy and generate what scientists call soft fascinationand that distracts our attention from more specific thoughts, perhaps even from the negative reflections associated with depression, according to White. “

In this maxi-discourse there are, of course, also reasons related to our more past, the evolutionary one. “In 1960, the biologist Alister Hardy proposed a new theory: our human ancestors would have moved from the forest to the coast, adapting to a aquatic habitat. The aquatic monkey hypothesis can potentially explain many characteristics of the human being, such as our extraordinary ability to swim, our hairless bodies and even the bhypedalism. The need to keep our heads above the water would have been a pretty strong motivation that pushed us to walk on two legs. “After all, there is a lot of evidence that our ancestors spent time in the water. that many shells have been found in early human settlements. Protein-based nutrition may have favored brain development. Consequently, by unknowingly predicting this evolutionary link with water, the blue areas of the world would make us happier. Mathew White also studied the attitudes of children near water. Does the sea work miracles? Yes. English children who, with behavioral problems, have been transferred from the city to the coastal areas have acquired a positive physicality, an absolutely excellent consequence in adolescence Thus, those who are lucky enough to live near water (whether fresh or salt) have a potentially better life, and it is not taken for granted, but it is enviable.

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