Want to Feel Better? Go Sailing

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to plan your next sailing adventure, we can help.  As well as instinctively knowing that sailing is good for you, and it just feels right, there is scientific evidence to justify your next trip; it has been proven that being on the water, getting out in nature and going sailing is good for you.

Every moment counts

An afternoon on the water or a weekend’s escape will provide benefits.  According to research released in 2020 by the journal Frontiers in Psychology[1], as little as 10 minutes of being in a nature can have a positive effect. Compared to people in urban settings near things like traffic, people in natural settings saw a decrease in heart rate, cortisol levels, blood pressure and more.

Watching the waves is good

Through his research, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind, has identified that the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin and inducing relaxation.[2]

In October 2019, researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom published a study showing that people who live near the ocean are 22 percent less likely to report depression and anxiety symptoms than people who stay inland.[3] The beneficial effects of “blue health”—interacting with bodies of water—were especially high among lower-income households.

Blue Mind

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols defines Blue Mind as being when we disconnect and logout. Nichols continues. “We move away from the screens, and we get out on the water, and leave all of that technology and information behind. We give our brains a break—and our brains love that.”

Being away from our overstimulated daily lives and immersed in an awe-inspiring environment, like the beautiful Bay of Islands, allows us to disconnect with chaos and connect with the peacefulness of nature.   We can become more present, more mindful.

Sailing as a wellbeing prescription

Nichols references research which suggests being on the water out in a boat promotes physiological and psychological benefits that help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more.  Phew!  So, we could conclude that going sailing is an excellent prescription for well-being.

Benefits for relationships

Sharing a sailing adventure with loved ones can intensify the mental health benefits.   When you explore, enjoy, indulge and have fun, together, that euphoric loving’ feeling is long-lasting.  A fun, safe, sailing adventure will improve relationships.  One of the reasons it’s a good idea to get some training together is to ensure you can sail competently, without stress.

Set sail now

Sailing is one of the best ways to improve your mental health at the best of times. The challenges we’ve faced, and continue to face, during the pandemic make time out together in nature more important than ever.


[1] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02942/full

[2] https://discoverboating.com.au/how-to/the-science-is-clear/

[3] https://www.medicationjunction.com/seaside-living-soothes-the-mind-of-rich-and-poor-alike/

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