Watching the waves

I find when I’m at our cottage each day I spend long minutes just watching the waves.

This morning I sat mesmerized by each as it made its journey to shore, growing in size, face gleaming in the rising sun, until the cascade of pearly white foam.

Why this fascination? The South African College of Applied Psychology explains:

“Research has shown that staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts Medical Schools, together with those from the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany, the brains of those who mediate regularly actually change in significant ways.

“The results suggest that [meditation] is associated with changes in grey matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, and perspective taking,” say the study’s authors.

What’s more, according to psychologists, listening to the waves activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for slowing us down and allowing us to relax and feel more engaged.”

Vacations provide much-needed breaks from the stress of daily responsibilities. If you’re able to add a few visits to the beach on your time off, you’re all the better for it.