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Advantages Of Lake Living

Posted On: 17.05.30

Advantages Of Lake Living

Do you enjoy spending time at the lake? Being around a body of water may have more health and wellness benefits than you realize. If you haven't yet heard of the “Blue Mind” theory, it's a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical benefits that water can have on humans. The "Blue Mind" is a a term coined by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, to explain mildly meditative state our mind enters when we’re near water. Using brain imaging Nichols has found that proximity to water floods the brain with feel good hormones such as dopamine, seratonin and oxytosin and that levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, actually drop. Nichols examines seas and oceans, lakes and rivers, even swimming pools and the contents of bathtubs to reveal fascinating findings that are worth a read. Here is an overview by Nichols:

Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do


This Is Your Brain On Water

What is it about the natural environment — specifically a watery environment — that provides such “rest” for the brain?

The brain is always trying to record and interpret the meaning of things and events, according to Michael Merzenich, PhD, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. The brain adapts its perceptual model continually to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information in its surroundings. “You can think of it as normalizing the background,” Merzenich explains.

In a natural environment on or near water, there’s a high degree of predictability — unlike a busy street, a body of water is largely the same from moment to moment. The background we see is fairly controlled, which allows part of the brain to relax.

Against that consistent background, the brain continues to search for something that wasn’t there before, since the essence of survival is the correct interpretation of things that don’t fit in the landscape. When the brain notices a disturbance on the surface (like a wave or a water bird), there’s a sense of surprise and novelty, which is accompanied by a pleasurable hit of dopamine.

Because bodies of water change and stay the same simultaneously, we experience both soothing familiarity and stimulating novelty when we look at them. This is regularity without monotony, the perfect recipe for triggering a state of involuntary attention in which the brain’s default network — essential to creativity and problem solving — gets triggered. This dreamy state of involuntary attention is a key characteristic of Blue Mind.

The good news is that we can access Blue Mind anywhere. Read more...

Whether you are looking for a calming place to unwind or you enjoy aquatic activities - spending time at the lake can provide important health benefits for the mind and the body for you and your family. To find out more visit CottageClub Ghost Lake where you can swim, waterski, wake board, windsurf, canoe, sail, boat, fish or relax on the beach all summer long and enjoy majestic lake views year round. 

Credits: W. J Nichols, (Read full article here)

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