21 Jan

Mental Healing at the Beach

beach mental healingThe beach is a favorite place for centering one’s self. Many people the world over find that the solitude of the beach is just the thing they need to get their head on straight. Indeed, all of nature has this calming, reflective effect on people, but there is something about the beach, with its endless horizon and wide open sky that makes us think of it as the world’s peaceful center. You can use the beach to gain mental clarity by praying, meditating, reflecting and relaxing.

  • Prayer. Praying on the beach is an old tradition. Many people associate the beach and the ocean with spirituality, and time at the beach is a religious experience for them. People who pray take advantage of the serenity and awe of the beach to address their higher power and clean out their spiritual closets.
  • Meditation. It is not uncommon to see people on the beach sitting in silence with their eyes closed. Usually, these people are engaged in meditation: the ancient practice of clearing one’s mind in order to be truly in the moment. The beach is the perfect place for meditation. It has all the elements of a profound meditation experience, including silence, a tantalizing sensory experience and interaction with the elements.
  • Reflection. Reflecting upon one’s life is a cognitive-behavioral way of thinking. It calls for critical analysis, self awareness and objectivity. It can be very difficult to reflect on anything in our busy civilized world, but at the beach, we have abundant space and energy to devote to critical thinking about our own lives. It is impossible to make personal progress without some level of reflection, which is why escaping to somewhere like the beach is so critical to our mental health.
  • Relaxation. Do not underestimate the importance of relaxation in our daily lives. Taking time to relax is not only pleasant and desirable as an activity, but it is also vital to our mental health. Going to some place like the beach simply to relax and nothing else is time well spent.

21 Jan

Physical Healing at the Beach

beach athleticismThe physical benefits of spending time at the beach are numerous. A wide open beach that stretches for miles naturally inspires exercise. There is so much space to move around in and explore that the body naturally becomes invigorated. The sensory experience of sights, smells and sounds at the beach also generate energy and make a person want to move around freely. In addition, the give of the sand under a person’s weight aids the exertion of exercise and the skill of balancing. Several ways you can engage in physical activity at the beach are:

  • Walking. Simply walking the length of the beach makes for excellent physical exercise. Doctors recommend that every person get some substantial amount of walking in every day. The beach provides an excellent opportunity to do exactly that. Because the beach is an incredibly scenic place, it is not a chore to walk the length of it. It is a pleasurable experience, as well as an adventure.
  • Stretching. Doing stretches or practicing an established form of stretching like yoga is very well suited for the beach. There are even yoga mats made specifically for use at the beach. The sandy surface is firm and flexible at the same time, creating an excellent surface for bracing one’s self in a stretch position.
  • Balance practice. The sand of the beach is an excellent surface for practicing good balance. Our weight pushes our feet into the sand to a certain degree which gives them a small brace for balancing that would not otherwise be there. The sand is firm enough for us to hold a pose in, yet soft enough that it is not painful to fall over onto.
  • Exertion. If it is a heartier workout you crave, the beach has no limits for the cardiovascular or toning exercises you can engage in. The beach makes an excellent space for running, jogging, dancing, aerobics, calisthenics or any other form of exerting exercise.

21 Jan

Using the Beach to Improve Your Health

beach healingThroughout history, mankind has had an affinity for the sea and for the beach. There is something about standing on the edge of the continent and looking out into an unknown world of water that captures our imagination and leaves us in awe. For centuries, people have been going to the beach for restoration, invigoration and inspiration. As it turns out, time at the beach actually does have health benefits, both physically and mentally, for people. Physically, a person can exercise, stretch and increase their balance abilities at the beach. Mentally, a person can declutter their mind, reflect and meditate at the beach.

It is not uncommon to go to the beach and see people jogging, stretching, doing yoga or calisthenics, dancing or performing any number of other physical activities. The beach naturally inspires athletic activity through its wide open spaces and majestic scenery. The salty air, humidity and chill creates an invigorating sensory experience that one cannot find anywhere else. Performing athletic activities on the beach is a great idea because there is plenty of room to move around. This is why many leaders of yoga, tai chi and aerobics groups choose to hold their classes on the beach. The sand also has benefits to health because it has give to it, which increases a person’s level of exertion when they exercise on it.

The mental health benefits of the beach are obvious. The beach is a serene, peaceful place where one can come for sanctuary from the busy world of people. The sound of the waves crashing, the feeling of the wind carrying the ocean spray into our skin and the smell of salt water at the beach is soothing and invigorating. A person is able to empty their mind of their troubles and either reflect on their life broadly or simply keep their mind’s open for meditation. Either is enormously beneficial to a person’s mental health and is truly dependent on the separation from the noise of the world, like that found at the beach.