Whether you spend time relaxing on a beach, fishing, on a boat, or doing anything near water, you are undoubtedly feeling the powerful calming effects of water.

It's not a coincidence. Looking at water has very real benefits for health and peace of mind.

When something as simple as looking at the water has such a powerful effect, it raises more questions than it answers.

                 Why does the calming effect of water relax us?

                 How does something as simple as looking at the water help us feel more relaxed?

                 Is it something we can use to reduce stress?

                 Although the exact reason for the "how" is a bit of a mystery, we know a lot about the "why".

Science explains why we feel more relaxed looking at water on a biological level. Seeing or hearing the soothing sounds of moving water triggers a response in our brains that induces a flood of neurochemicals. These chemicals increase blood flow to the brain and heart, which induces relaxation.

The "blue mind" effect

Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols wrote a book on the subject of water and its healing powers. It's called Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.

It may be one of the longest book titles you've ever seen, but it does a good job of outlining some of the proven benefits of being around water. In addition, it is one of the few books on the subject. The author makes some interesting points based on his own experience as a marine biologist, as well as other scientifically supported research he has conducted.

In the book, Wallace explains that looking at or being near water can provide a wide range of health benefits. These benefits include reduced stress and anxiety, increased happiness, decreased heart rate, and other things that extend beyond simply feeling calmer.

He calls this the "blue mind" effect, saying it's a response we get when looking at water. His book explores many reasons why water has this effect on us. Here are two of the key ideas:

There is a deep psychological bond with our ancestors

Many of our behaviors and reactions come from our DNA. This includes the way our brains react to seeing water. Wallace says this goes back to how our ancestors behaved thousands of years ago.

Our ancestors were frequently on the move and needed to find water as a matter of life and death. For generations, they concentrated on finding new sources of water. When they did, a calming response was triggered in their brains, something we carry with us to this day.

Water represents a source of life

Water is important for our survival. It covers more than 70% of the Earth's surface. Our body is made up of almost 70% water and water makes up more than 70% of two of our most vital organs (the brain and the heart).

Wallace says this is why the sight or sound of water triggers the release of relaxing neurochemicals for most people. Logically, there is a deep biological connection between our brain and the vision of water due to our dependence on it as a source of life.

The effect of the "red mind"

On the other hand, Nichols also talks about the state of "red mind", in which a constant state of anxiety binds our mind. Nichols explains how this occurs as a result of increased urbanization and our constant need for technology. A somewhat recent report shows that 90% of young adults are "constant checkers," meaning they engage with screens and social media use almost all the time.

It is interesting to note that when we think of the color red, most of us think of love and passion. However, the psychology of the color red also signifies danger, power, energy, and war. Therefore, if we look at this from the perspective of color psychology, it makes a lot of sense to see how blue colors have a calming effect.

Even when you can't be physically near the water, looking at pictures of the water makes you feel calmer.

The benefits of being near water

There is a reason why you feel so at peace when you go to the beach or are near the ocean. There's water. Science continues to study the wonderful healing power that being near and observing water has on our mental health and well-being. Let's explore some of the many calming effects of water.

Promotes a meditative state

The sound of waves crashing on the shore can alter brain wave patterns to induce a meditative state. All of these can help reduce stress levels, promote mental clarity, improve sleep patterns, and even help with anxiety.

Water helps creativity

Don't you feel totally inspired when you are at the beach? When our brain goes into relaxation mode, it tends to be more creative. Getting away from all the bustle and busy thoughts into a calmer state can help you feel more inspired and less judgmental of your thoughts.

Improve your physical abilities

While being near water won't cause you to lose more calories, it will help enhance the benefits of being active. Trade a crowded gym for a walk on the beach and you will train not only your body but also your mind.

Water is rich in negative ions

For people who believe in the power of energy, water is very rich in negative ions. The power of negative ions helps your ability to absorb oxygen, improve serotonin levels, and improve your alertness and concentration. Being near water can help you feel rejuvenated and improve your mood and stress levels.

It makes you feel amazed and impressed

The feeling of wonder has many health benefits. However, it has been scientifically proven to help you stay calm, control your temper, feel more generous, and expand your sense of vastness. All these effects are similar to what is known as forest bathing. Or, in general, being close to nature.

Why is the sound of water so relaxing?

The calming effect of seeing the water uses only one of our senses. The calming effects of water are even greater if we also listen to the sounds of the water. Whether it's the pounding of ocean waves on the shore or the soft pattering of raindrops on the window, the sound of water also has a calming effect on most people.

                 Studies conclude that this is due to the way our brains interpret noise and how we connect sounds with images in our brains.

                 Our brains process noises as threatening or non-threatening. We interpret water as non-threatening, even if it is loud and crashing waves.

                 Also, relate the sounds of water with calming images stored in our memory. It brings us personal memories or images that we have collected from television or other media.

However, taking a dip in the water is also very beneficial for well-being. Soaking in natural water, such as when you are at the beach or in a lake, can stimulate the body. The natural coolness of the water will provide your body with a soothing treatment that will calm you down, both mentally and physically, and help by calming your nerves. Even the warmest waters during the summer can help relax muscles and relieve tensions held in the body.

Ultimately, if you're looking for an easy and affordable way to clear your mind, look for a blue space. You don't have to go to the beach or the ocean; even your shower will do. Water has the absolute power to give you mental clarity, improve your brain power and make you a happier person almost instantly.


Human beings have developed a capacity for perception that possibly distinguishes us from the rest of the species inhabiting this planet, and it is through the senses that we can create situations and experiences based on a degree of sensitivity that brings us closer to the relationship with our environment.

Water is essential for life on Earth, however, as an element in space, it plays a different role.

In the history of landscaping, water is used with a conceptual language full of poetry and symbolism attributed by the human being. Despite this, there are few episodes in which water is spoken of as a catalyst for sound. Our calm or agitation at times is closely linked to the stimuli we receive from outside. So the way we hear the water makes us perceive a space in a certain way. If the water is constant and peaceful, it causes us peace. If the rhythm is strong and hectic, it changes the ambient feeling to an alert situation.

White Noise (WHITE NOISE) is defined as a wall of sonic energy without patterns, where a random sound is manifested, consisting of the same intensity in all its frequencies, like the sound of rain. If we were talking about its equivalent, in color theory, it would be summed up as what happens when all the colors in the light come together, obtaining white as a result.

In this case, using white noise as a tool to stabilize sound in a space is a clear example of how, through sensory activity, we are able to establish a dialogue with the environment and, consequently, how it is used and transformation of the same, according to our degree of sensitivity. Since, when interpreting and modifying a space, it is essential to blend the physical objective of a project with the sensory one. In gardens and even in large cities, using the force and rhythm of the sound of water as a sound element to create acoustic barriers can be a criterion to consider when designing since, today, pollution does not only come from what what we see, but also what we hear.

The reason for using white noise to establish tranquility in a space is closely related to the sensitive qualities that we have as human beings. As mammals, we come from our mother's womb, in which we spend months developing in an environment where weeks before we are born, we are already capable of perceiving sounds.

If we went back a few years, we would remember that, in the beginning, life began in water. Perhaps this is the reason why we associate the sound of water with inner peace. Possibly it is a memory stored in our subconscious memory, from that moment in which we were an embryo inside our mother's womb. Perhaps it is a memory that automatically sends us back to a habitat where the sound of life is everything.

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