Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of these last few weeks of warm weather before it gets too cold to spend time out on the water. If you haven’t gotten out on the water this summer or your boat has been languishing in dry dock, why should you spend some time exploring out on the water before the weather gets cold?
If you went to the doctor in Victorian England for anything from a common cold to mental health issues, you’d probably get the same prescription: sea air and regular dunkings in cold sea water.
In theory, nearly drowning in the cold water triggered your body to release adrenaline — revitalizing you and healing a variety of different maladies.
While there are plenty of conditions that really wouldn’t benefit from repeated near-drownings, that doesn’t mean being on the water doesn’t have its benefits.
Benefits of Exploration
A number of studies have found that people who live near the coasts, regardless of their country of origin, are generally happier and healthier than those who live farther away. We’re even willing to pay more for waterfront property. According to real estate data, just being able to see the water from a house or apartment increases the property’s value by 116 percent.
Why does being near or on the water make us happier?
If you ask 10 different people that question, you’ll get 10 different answers. For some, it’s because large bodies of water like the ocean are endless and powerful and it helps to put things into perspective. You’re small compared to something like the ocean, and that makes your problems small. Small problems are easier to manage.
Others state that the water helps to calm them down, or helps them separate themselves from the crazed hustle and bustle that makes up most of our lives. It can even help some people fall asleep, which is why white noise machines with rain or river sounds are so popular.
How to Get Started
If you’ve never piloted a boat before in your life, heading out on the water might seem a bit intimidating. But you don’t need to be a pirate or a ship’s captain to explore the waterways near your home or even farther away. Start small. You’re not going to pilot a yacht with no experience, no matter how good the yacht’s insurance is.
Get a hang of piloting a boat by starting with something small, like a dinghy with a little outboard motor or even a rigid inflatable boat if you’re using it to hop between islands.
Whether you’re heading out on the lake or trying to circumnavigate the world, getting out on the water can be a great way to feel happier, get your head together, or just shed the stress of a rough day at work. Just go to the beach and spend some time listening to the waves — you might be surprised by how much better you feel afterward!