Immerse in Nature’s Solace: Unlocking the Mental Health Benefits of Lakes and Rivers

Written By iwasthinkingnatural

Passionate about nature and sustainability, and attracting people away from technology and into nature. 

Imagine yourself sitting by a tranquil lake, the water gently lapping at the shore, or perhaps at the bank of a river where the soothing burble of flowing water fills the air. Undeniably, there’s some kind of undeniable calm, a certain peace that seems to descend when we’re around such waterscapes. Few people could argue that spending time by lakes and rivers doesn’t help them relax and feel reconnected with nature. But did you know that these experiences could have quite a profound impact on our mental health?

Indeed, recent scientific research has begun to uncover some remarkable connections between being in the proximity of water and improved mental health. Let’s explore this fascinating aspect in more depth.

Firstly, the positive effect of water on our wellbeing begins with the most fundamental aspect – hydration. According to a comprehensive article on CNET, staying adequately hydrated is key to ensuring optimal brain function and mental wellness. Water supports various cognizance activities, including memory function, concentration, and even decision-making abilities. Besides, maintaining adequate hydration levels helps in the production of our mood-regulating neurotransmitter, serotonin. So, while we’re relishing that serene lakeside ambience, sipping on some water keeps our mind refreshed and joyous.(source)

But what about the overwhelming peace we experience while gazing at still waters or hearing the river’s rhythm? How does being near bodies of water make us feel better? To answer that, we turn to another interesting study by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter. The extensive research reveals a powerful link between nature exposure and vital health benefits, including stress reduction, lower blood pressure, reduced nervous system arousal, increased self-esteem, and enhanced immune system function.

  • It promotes a robust sense of wellbeing.
  • It enhances cognitive functioning.
  • It acts as an antidote for stress.
  • It reduces symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and aggressive behavior.

Thus, a weekend break at a lakeside picnic spot or a riverside campground is more than just a fun outing—it’s rejuvenating therapy.

Now, coming to the interesting part – how can we maximize the healing powers of these tranquil waterscapes? Here are some tried and tested relaxation techniques that are wonderfully suited for lakeside or riverside environments. As suggested by the Riverside Chiropractic Clinic, these methods significantly reduce stress:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation – methodically tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in your body
  • Controlled breathing exercises – focusing on your breath can help calm the mind
  • Finding a mantra – repeating a calming word or phrase helps maintain concentration and blocks out distracting thoughts
  • Listening to soothing, natural sounds – the sound of water, birdsong or a gentle breeze can be very relaxing

Just allocate about ten minutes of your precious ‘nature time’ to these activities, and you’ll feel a world of difference!

To experience the healing power of water bodies in a formatted way, a retreat like Throttle Therapy Lake Anna in Virginia can be a good option. This farm retreat is an ideal venue for those looking forward to spending peaceful time in the embrace of nature. Comfortable accommodations, walking through forest trails, relaxing by the beautiful Lake Anna – the retreat offers all these and more.(source)

In conclusion, lakes and rivers do much more than add a picturesque charm to our planet. They hold the key to unwinding from our busy lives, helping us find peace, promote mental health, and simply make us happier. So, do make time to visit these natural havens, and let the waters work their magic!


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