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October is Mental Health Awareness Month

October is a reminder to pay attention to not only your physical but mental health as well. During this time of year, the days become shorter, the temperatures cooler, and the hustle bustle of the holidays are around the corner. For many that can lead to depression and added stress to our already busy lives. We at KEES would like to remind you to take some time for yourself, even if it is just a long weekend to relax and ground.

Research has shown that the beach can aid in relieving stress and calm our minds.
1. Crashing Waves

The repetitive sound of waves crashing can produce soothing effects. As waves come in, crash, and then recede again, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which slows down the brain and helps promote relaxation. Shuster describes this as “de-stimulating our brains”. This process makes the part of the brain responsible for stress emotions shrink, while areas such as empathy and memory grow.

2. Sea Salty Air

Taking deep breaths of ocean air provides instant benefits. Negative ions are oxygen ions with an extra electron attached, produced via water molecules. These negative ions found in ocean air can essentially calm your brain. The negatively ionized air can alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

3. Blue Seascapes

Scientific research from Richard Shuster shows that just being near the color blue has led to "an overwhelming amount of people to be associated with feelings of calm and peace". Looking out at the ocean can change the frequency of brain waves to match that of the sea.

4. Sunny Vitamin D

Even during the fall and winter months being out in the sun has the same beneficial production of Vitamin D as spring and summer. This essential vitamin helps our bodies produce calcium, which can prevent diabetes, MS, heart disease and reduces the chance of cancer.

5. Sand Beneath Your Feet

Walking barefoot on the sand has been proven to have a number of stimulating benefits to both our physical body and minds. Our feet contain a rich network of nerves and acupuncture points. Our soles touching the sand stimulates these points and can produce a grounding, calming effect. Going barefoot also allows feet to absorb free ions on the Earth's surface in much the same way that our lungs are capable of absorbing ions in the air.

Can't make it to the beach?

Science has proven that looking at images of the beach and listening to the sound of ocean waves can still produce a peaceful and relaxing state of being.