I went to the Harbor Cove Beach with a friend on Friday September 13 (unlucky number but amazing day). I was not happy when I first got there. I was going to take the LSAT in less than 2 weeks, and after 4 months of studying I was exhausted and incredibly stressed. The test seemed to be all I could think about. I love the beach, especially the one near the Ventura Harbor but because of the LSAT, and everything else I needed to do, going to the beach was just one more thing on my long to-do list. One more thing to stress over. That feeling dissolved the second I stepped onto the white sand. The sound of the waves rolling over the shore and the slight breeze brushing past made all the concern and worry wash away with the tides. It was an incredible reminder that the beach has an incredible physical and psychological effect on all of us. This made me wonder why the beach creates such a feeling of relief.
Clinical psychologist Richard Shuster explains that a number of factors make the beach a stress reliever and an oasis for relaxation. These factors are connected to our senses. The sights, smells, sounds, and touch of the beach all improve human health. First the sight of the blue water has a calming effect. Blue is associated, by most people, with calm and peace. The sounds of the waves destimulates the human brain which, along with the smells of the salty beach, allows us to relax. The touch of the warm sand puts us in a more relaxed state. In addition to our senses there is a cultural effect that contributes to this feeling. This is apparent in television and movies. Almost every time a character goes to the beach, they obtain rest, relaxation, and clarity. This creates a cultural association with the beach and contributes to the calming feeling that most get there (Heiser, 2017).
Through a combination of cultural and medical factors the beach is an excellent place to escape in times of high stress. I benefited immensely from going to the beach and had an amazing time. I can’t wait to go back.
Source: Heiser, C. (2018, July 16). What the beach does to your brain. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-beach-does-your-brain-ncna787231