Our mental health is an essential component of our well-being. Keeping the mind healthy is as important as staying physically fit. First of all, staying mentally healthy is a good feeling.
We have high energy and motivation when the mind is in its best shape. It allows us to smile, be confident, and enjoy more out of life. It lets us appreciate our jobs, our families, our friends, and our hobbies. And it keeps our attitude upbeat and positive.
In addition, we relate better with others. We can understand other people’s predicaments and empathize with them. We are also more willing to help and give knowing and appreciating the fact that we have enough.
Since we have high energy, we also want to be active. We like to play sports, exercise, or do chores around the house. We take care of ourselves and other people, too.
Having excellent mental health doesn’t make life perfect, but it makes life suitable. So what happens when we don’t take care of it? If we don’t take care of our mental health, the chances are that we will develop some mental illness sooner or later.
Mental illness refers to mental conditions that affect the way we feel, think, and act. The most common mental illness is Major Depressive Disorder or Depression. It is characterized by constant feelings of depression, worthlessness, and guilt.
People with depression often have difficulty sleeping, concentrating, and accomplishing tasks. They are persistently empty, sad, and anxious. Often, they end up becoming school dropouts or quitting work. They stop associating with others and tend to stay in rather than go out.
Other times, people may suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. When they do, they are constantly restless and on edge. They struggle to control their worry, are usually tensed, and often irritable.
There are other worse forms of mental illness characterized by hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations could be seeing, hearing, or feeling something that is not there. Meanwhile, delusions compel people to believe in something that is not realistic or logical sincerely.
Whether mild or severe, having a mental illness prevents an individual from enjoying life to its full potential. It also affects the quality of living they experience from day to day. The worst part about it is that it affects the people around them, too.
Mental Health Benefits of Sailing
So how does sailing improve our mental health? The first benefit is a boost of serotonin. It’s one of the chemicals in the brain that makes us feel good. In other words, sailing lowers stress levels by increasing happy chemicals in the brain.
The science behind this is that sailing is a relaxing activity. The sight of the blue ocean, the sound of the waves, and the rocking sensation of the boat calm our nerves. These rhythmic sensations soothe our minds, allowing us to relax.
It’s also a very visually and physically appealing activity. The ocean view, the sky, the birds, and the marine animals make it a favorite hobby for many. In addition, various activities and tasks within the boat can help move the body. Therefore, sailing is both sightseeing and exercise.
That’s why sailing improves your agility and mobility—in fact, pulling the lines, moving around, and keeping regular trains on the body. It also enhances your hand-eye coordination.
One of the best things about sailing is doing it with family and friends. It helps improve your communication by coordinating with each other while on the boat. It even allows you to become more organized.
At the end of the day, you improve your endurance and muscle strength, too. It’s a very active and entertaining hobby that helps you improve your health. You could just rent a small boat and invite your family and friends.
In addition, you can all go fishing! It develops full-body strength improves your mental health as well. It is also an entertaining thing to bond with your loved ones. The best part about it is the free meal!
There are various activities you can do on a boat. You can have meals and play games. You can also jump off and enjoy the water. It encourages you to be in the outdoors, enjoy nature, and travel!
Not only do you have fun when you sail, but you also improve your focus. You can concentrate more. This boosts your memory, too, and allows you to retain information and experience, as well as remember.
After a whole day of sailing, you can feel better because you are more relaxed. The happy chemicals in your brain—serotonin and dopamine—rise. In addition, stress hormones like cortisol drop. This is the natural science behind how sailing can improve your mental health. You don’t even have to buy your own boat.