It doesn't take much to convince most people to ditch their office cubicles for a week of fun in the sun on a gorgeous island getaway.
But if you're looking for yet another reason to justify a well-needed beach vacation, you're in luck.
Science just discovered heading to the beach for a little R&R can actually be really good for your mental health.
A study conducted by Michigan State University found living in a space that offers lots of blue views — such as lakes or oceans — can lower levels of “psychological distress.”
Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, explains that looking at large bodies of water can create a calming effect on the brain that is somewhat similar to a meditative state.
By focusing on a few specific elements, such as the sound of crashing waves, your mind drifts away from the things that cause you to be stressed out all the time and finally lets you relax.
But, that's not all. In addition to helping you chill out, the ocean can also get your creative juices flowing again, too.
Swapping out your computer screen view for a beautiful beach vista can serve as quick fix for your overstimulated mind since it lets your brain turn on its default mode network (DMN).
DMN is associated with things like imagination and creativity, and it occurs when your brain is in a conscious resting state, such as lounging around in the sand as you work on your tan.
If you can't find the time to slip away from your desk for a week, Wallace suggests taking a shower. While your bathroom may not seem nearly as fun as a tropical excursion, your shower can serve as a proxy for the ocean.
According to Wallace,
You step in the shower and you remove a lot of the visual stimulation of your day. Auditorily, it's the same thing — it's a steady stream of 'blue noise.' You're not hearing voices or processing ideas. You step into the shower and it's like a mini-vacation.
Now, if you would please excuse me, I have a beach vacation to plan.