Breaking waves, splashing fountains, gurgling creeks, rushing waterfalls, and dripping rain are incredibly soothing to listen to. When I reach a point where I’m stressed by everyday living and the many sounds that bombard me, something deep inside draws me to water.
I could sit for hours beside water, mesmerized by its sound, motion and color.
It doesn’t even have to be a lot of water. It can be a serene lake, a water fountain in a garden, a stream in the woods, or the sound of running bath water. All of these have the ability to take my mind to a peaceful place and give me a feeling of awe.
The calming effects of water is nothing new. In early Rome, baths were an important part of their life. There were pools that were thought to bring healing and there were baths where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calm setting. I live near Hot Springs National Park which has been nicknamed “The American Spa.” Hot water that averages 143 degrees Fahrenheit flows out of the mountain from several springs. The first people to take advantage of the thermal springs were local Native Americans who build their sweat lodges near the springs. In the early 1800’s the springs were guaranteed as safe-to-drink water and bathing houses were established. Rich and poor came to bath in the soothing hot waters; to heal and relax. I’ve not taken a hot bath in the still existing bath houses, but I have enjoyed being near the springs and watching the stream rise as it meets the cooler air.
Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, believes that we all have a “blue mind . . . a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment” that is triggered when we’re in or near water. I have to agree with him. When I’m near water I am calm, peaceful, happy, and satisfied with life.
If you can, treat yourself to the relaxation of water. Take a walk by the river or along a sandy beach. Sit quietly and be soothed by the sound of a waterfall or fountain. Take the time to relax, to daydream, and to restore your mind. Maybe you don’t have time for an outing, then simply wash the dishes or drink a glass of water. Whatever you do, stop to admire and appreciate the life-giving qualities of water.