Blue Space

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 in Blog, Creative Process | 0 comments

Blue Space

Science Explains How Staying Near Water Can Change Our Brains

Excerpted from an article by 

Editor’s note: Many of us are instinctively drawn to the water for renewal, refreshment and a connection to something primal.  As John F. Kennedy said, “when we go back to the sea, we are going back from whence we came.” 

"..when we go back to the sea, we are going back from whence we came."


Have you ever felt at peace when you’re walking by the ocean? A sense of rejuvenation when you stand by a waterfall? How about taking in the view of a breathtaking lake from your window? We often feel a sense of calm when we’re around water. And scientists report that it has a positive effect on our brains.

Looking at water and listening to its sound puts our overloaded minds into a relaxed and hypnotic-like state. Our brain processes generate more calm and creative states and increase our sense of well-being.

Often referred to as blue space, the impact of the sea, rivers, and lakes on our happiness and well-being is being researched by neuro-scientists and psychologists. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, has discussed and published the different ways bodies of water positively affect us and many psychologists have researched how just having blue space in front of us can boost our mental health.

Water Induces Meditative States

When we hear the crashing of waves by the ocean, it can put us into a mindful, mediative state. The sound of waves has been found to alter brainwave patterns, invoking a meditative, relaxed state. Simply observing the movement of water causes our minds to calm. This contributes to improved mood, reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting mental clarity and sleep patterns.

Water Invokes Inspiration and Creativity

When we’re near water, our brains switch from busy mode to relaxed mode. In this relaxed state, weʻre more open to inspired and creative thoughts. In essence, we are switching our busy brains, providing a more receptive mental environment for insight and introspection.

Water Gives Us A Sense of Awe

Awe is an important factor for our well-being according to the science of positive psychology. The emotion of awe contributes greatly to our happiness because it not only allows us to be in the present moment but it causes us to think about our place in the world around us. This can invoke feelings of humility, a connection to something beyond ourselves and the pure vastness of nature.

Water Increases The Benefits of Exercise

Exercising is obviously a good way to improve our mental well-being. However working out by the ocean will increase these benefits ten fold. Going for a swim in a lake or cycling along a river trail will give you more of a mental boost than working out in a crowded city or gym environment. Being surrounded by blue space adds positive benefits to exercise, with the increased exposure to good-feeling negative ions.

Water Is A Rich Source of Negative Ions

Exposure to positive and negative ions influences how we feel. Positive ions are emitted by electrical appliances such as computers, microwaves and hairdryers, and drain us of our natural energy. Negative ions are generated by waterfalls, oceans waves, and thunderstorms, and accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen, balance levels of seratonin (the chemical linked to mood and stress), and improve alertness and concentration.

Taking A Natural Dip

Not only does being near water increase our sense of well-being, being submerged in a natural source of water such as the sea or a lake invigorates your body. The natural chill of cold water can soothe our nerves and refresh us both mentally and physically while warmer water can help relax muscular tension.

So, if you’re looking to clear your head, then search for some blue space – whether you’re lucky enough be at the ocean or just sitting near your local fountain, water has a powerful influence on the brain and can help change your mental clarity, creative capacity, happiness, and well-being.


Kauai Designʻs product line, Everyday Beach Play, was inspired by a deep connection with the sea…the sun and the moon on the water, the sparkle, the ripple, the flow, where the sky meets the sea, where the sea meets the shore, the whales, dolphins, sea turtles, surf culture and Pacific island influences. Functional island art from Everyday Beach Play helps keep you connected to the mana (spirit) of the sea everyday, wherever you roam.

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