The Beginnings of Blue Mind…

palm and beach

The waves of the sea help me get back to me.

Jill Davis

We all feel it instinctively. Water heals. Water restores. Water uplifts.

As someone with a sailboat, I spend a fair amount of time on or near water. I know it puts me in another state. A better and healthier state. A calmer, more centred, more present state.

But why? To find out I’ve just begun to read Blue Mind: The Surprising Science that Shows How Being In, On, Near or Under Water Can Make you Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do.

I’ve been meaning to dip into this for a while now. I finally have and I’m sure I’ll share some of what I’m discovering in future posts.

My aha moments….

What first struck me is the notion of a red mind, gray mind and blue mind. We all know these states well. Red mind is when we are stressed, anxious, overactive yet underproductive and gray mind is when we are numb, lethargic, demotivated and unsatisfied.

Red and gray mind states feel awful — they are products of our modern lifestyles, habits and choices. Blue mind is a natural state that feels glorious. We have all experienced it.  Many of us yearn for it when we’re in a red or gray mind state and almost all of us find it very easy to reconnect with when we’re close to water.

balancelrBlue mind is a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water. It takes advantage of neurological connections formed over millennia, which we are only beginning to understand now.

So many of us are drawn to water as a way to deal with the stress of our lives, to enhance the good times or to feel awe and wonder and get in touch with something larger than our small selves. If we don’t live near it, we head toward it on vacation. We wake up early to take sunrise shots over water. Our kids run through sprinklers in the summer. We immerse ourselves in it to create a feeling of extreme relaxation and well-being.

I find it fascinating that both the human brain (80% water) and the ocean (covering 70% of the Earth’s surface) are still only at the very early stages of being explored and understood by humankind. We still have so much to learn.

I’m looking forward to exploring some of the emerging science on water and blue mind in the days and weeks ahead.

I’m curious to know whether water has the power to put you in a blue mind state — and do you find yourself going out of your way to experience it?

18 thoughts on “The Beginnings of Blue Mind…

  1. Definitely yes I am drawn to water. Growing up 45 minutes from the ocean and spending so much time around the water, every once in a while I have to head to the shore. We have a rapid white water stream that runs through our mountain property and every time I am there I have to go and either sit on a rock in the stream or by the stream. I always come away calmer and more at peace with myself. By the way, a beautiful post. I certainly want to add this book to my list…

  2. Oh I sure do and have done all my life. Before living near the water, even though raised in the prairies, I was always drawn to water especially large bodies such as enormous lakes or the ocean. For me it’s like I’ve found home. It’s truly where I belong.

  3. Beautiful reflections, Sherry – I am going to put this book on my to-read list. I wonder if the colours of different natural settings bring out nuances of the meditative state? The blue of the sea, the multiple hues of green forests, the shocking white of winter snow….hmmm…

  4. You are a lucky one Cheryl to have so many memories of time by the water in the US as well as the Caribbean. And its true, it doesn’t have to be oceans that put one in a blue mind state, it can be lakes, rivers, streams too — even swimming pools!

  5. That first photo is glorious! I’m not a water person anymore. Plus, we’re in a landlocked state, so we don’t see the ocean very often. But, my in-laws have a lake home, and I have to admit, though I never get in the water, I feel more creative and relaxed when I’m out there. Plus, it’s so fun to see my family members have so much fun.

  6. Oh my gosh, does this speak to me! I am never happier than when Im swimming. All my best pictures are of boats. I spent hours in Canada on the bow of my father’s fishing boat, just drifting and reading . And a bathtub is my salvation. My mind must be very BLUE -ROYAL blue! Ultramarine Blue!!! I just ordered the book -thank you!

  7. I love every word of this post and know it to be true. I was brought up on the ocean…not a fancy part but a cove where the tide went in and out each day so it really is a part of me. I do seek it out, all of it, ocean, lakes, rivers and streams. It all puts me in the blue mind. Just knowing that I can go to the ocean whenever I want makes me happy…but those times, when I travel to a warm, carribean climate, when the ocean is cold and raw, makes me happy.
    Your photo is lovely Sherry and your book sounds wonderful…thanks so much for sharing..

  8. Lately I am very much drawn to the water. I find myself wanting to be there all the time. In the winter since I cannot go south until later in the summer I will go to one of Toronto’s many beaches. There’s a sense of calm that overtakes me there. I am feeling the need again even though I was just there at the end of December. Your images are exquisite and the light in the second/last one is spectacular Sherry.

  9. So very interesting. I too am drawn to the water. We live on the shores of Lake Huron and look out at water everyday. I must say however that I have more of a red or gray mind when said water is FROZEN!
    Love your images and looking forward to many more as you reach your blue mind state.

  10. Oh, yes! I find the seashore, the water, the harbors, the boats, the sea life – all these things restore my equilibrium. I live in a landlocked state and believe me, that once a week trip to the beach is not enough. Although these have been enhanced with other sea-going trips: cruises, visiting coastal places. We always seem to pass up on the mountains in search of a good sea/water experience.

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