Recent research has confirmed what many boaters already know—you experience emotional, behavioral and psychological benefits being near, in, on or under water, and while participating in activities like boating.
One of the leading researchers on the health benefits of the water is Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, the bestselling book on the scientific connection between water and happiness. Working with Discover Boating, Dr. Nichols has begun to explore the wellness benefits associated with boating.
"Being on a boat is one of the best ways to access the wellness benefits of the water."
– Dr. Wallace J. Nichols
We now know, thanks to science, that the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin and inducing relaxation.
Red Mind, Blue Mind
“Red Mind” is a state of mind described as an “edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety and fear.” While stressors such as money and work influence people, there are new stressors associated with urbanization and a constant tether to technology that offer little respite from the demands of today’s world. An antidote to “Red Mind” is “Blue Mind”—a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness associated with the water.
Blue Mind and Boating
Boating triggers a restful, “Blue Mind” state of mind. It provides the means to get outside of daily routines, allowing our brains to reset. Being on a boat promotes physiological and psychological changes spanning health and wellness, awe and wonder, creativity and play, happiness and relaxation.
Your Brain on a Boat
Research has shown getting out on the water in a boat promotes a restful state, with various physiological and psychological benefits. With an increased number of Americans taking less vacation*, boating is the perfect way to unwind and relax as it:
- Rests our brains
- Is meditative
- Is awe-inspiring
- Promotes play and induces creativity
- Appeals to our senses
Download the infographic to better understand how boating can benefit your health.
*Gallup, Dec. 4 – 11, 2017
Download and print the following "Bluescription," prescribed directly from Dr. Nichols.
Itching to get out on the water but find yourself stuck indoors? There’s no reason you can’t be an active boater while staying at home. Spend time completing online trainings, get your boating license, practice knot tying or casting, watch how-to videos, and so much more!
Boaters everywhere are doing their best to navigate uncharted waters brought on by the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. Use this guide to find all the answers you need regarding boating during coronavirus—from navigating local boating restrictions to ramp closures, and social distancing best practices.
Finding solitude on a boat is one of the best parts of boating. Science has proved that being on, in or near water can improve creativity, boost emotional health, and promote relaxation, as well as calm your mind and appeal to your senses.