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Being Near Water Reduces Anxiety


Health advice about drinking an adequate amount of water has been around for a long time, but now it seems that just being near water can help mental wellbeing as well.

Studies have shown that being around water for just a few minutes a day can improve mental health.

It is not a replacement for therapy, but it helps us to relax and unwind. 

This is what the experts say about being near water

“It can reduce anxiety, ease tension and reinvigorate the mind and body.” 

How being near water helps

When we are in, or near to, a body of water we enter a “Flow State” and become calm.

We experience a reduced visual and auditory stimulation, and the body simply enters a state of deep relaxation.

The soothing sound of the water usually invokes positive emotions.  The smell can bring back childhood memories of visits to beaches and the countryside.

As our attention is captured by the water’s colour and movement the “outside noise” is reduced.

Also, floating in water allows the body to rest in a very deep and natural manner.

Does all water have this effect?

The benefits can be gained wherever there is water.

  • Visiting a beach
  • Sitting by a river or babbling brook
  • Taking a coffee by a fountain
  • Lounging by a swimming pool
  • Taking a bath
  • Participating in any kind of water sport

What to do next?

Spend a couple of hours beside a body of water (also known as “Blue Space”) that is right for you and then review your feelings.

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More reading about water and “blue space”

You can read more about how urban planners are now introducing more water into cities to help promote mental health, reduce anxiety and unsocial behaviour.