Have you ever heard of "The Blue Mind?" Peacefulness, happiness, satisfaction, and better surfing? It turns out going for a surf is really good for you, and if biologist Wallace J. Nichols' research is any indication, that's only the beginning. Nichols has shown how being around water, with its sparkling surface patterns, its invigorating breezes, its gentle and rhythmic sounds, and its biotic smells, puts us in kind of a super-version of involuntary state, aka Blue Mind. Neuroscience bears this out.
Nichols cites research that proves being near water releases a galaxy of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine (pleasure), serotonin (well-being, peace), endorphins (euphoria, pain inhibition), oxytocin (love and bonding), GABA (calmness), and even endocannabinoids (our very own cannabis-like chemical).
My personal experience with water certainly makes this research relevant for me. Whether swimming in a mountain stream, tree skiing deep powder, or surfing, I experience a calming effect when around water. In his research, Mr. Nichols, does talk of the Red Mind, which for a surfer is the feeling one gets when a dark shadow is spotted going through a wave. It could be just kelp but our mind gets us ready to fight or flight just in case the shadow has a dorsal fin attached. Red Mind produces all the chemicals commonly associated with everyday stress. For now I am going to focus on the Blue Mind and get ready to go surfing!