Have you ever wondered why being in and around water has such a calming effect on our brains? The sound of crashing waves, the gentle rhythm of the tide, and the whisper of bubbles as we explore underwater worlds profoundly impact our well-being. Let’s dive deep into the science and explore why ocean sounds are so soothing.

health benefits salt water

Ocean Sounds Connect Us to Our Primal Roots

We live on a planet that is 70% water, and our bodies are made up of 60% water. As a fetus, we spend nine months floating in water in our mother’s womb. It’s no wonder we have a biological affinity for the ocean. But it goes back further than that, to our primal roots.

Our ancestors evolved from ocean-dwelling creatures. Early humans spent a lot of time in and around the sea, diving or fishing for food. We have a deep-seated connection to the ocean in our DNA. That’s why it’s not surprising that the sound of waves makes us happy.

A mans sits cross legged on a rock by the ocean

The Power of Blue Spaces

Studies have shown that being in and around “blue spaces” like the ocean or lakes can reduce psychological stress and improve overall mental health.

Ocean sounds are soft noises with a low frequency and a rhythmic nature. They tell our brains that we are safe. Loud, sudden noises put us on alert, but natural water sounds activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us relax and unwind. 

Researchers have found that listening to water sounds reduces our stress levels, lowers blood pressure, and encourages a sense of calmness. The brain releases “feel-good” neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin, which reduce stress and promote feelings of relaxation and pleasure. 

Essentially, the ocean’s rhythmic lullaby acts like a soft embrace. It calms your mind and moves you to a state of tranquillity.

A woman with headphones on rests after exercising near the water

Ocean Sounds as White Noise

We live in a world where noise pollution levels are constantly increasing and are a source of stress for many people. One way to help mask these unsettling noises and create a peaceful environment where we can relax and focus is by using white noise. 

White noise is a blend of sounds that helps to mask background noises without being too overwhelming. Ocean sounds make excellent white noise, because they are naturally calming and soothing but not too loud or intrusive. 

That’s why listening to waves and other ocean sounds is often recommended for meditation, study, or sleep. 

Freediving and mindfulness

Positive Memories and Associations

The ocean holds a special place in our hearts for many of us. That’s even more true for scuba divers. Whether it’s childhood memories of beach vacations or unforgettable marine encounters, we associate the ocean with positive emotions and nostalgia.

When we hear the sounds of the ocean, our brains retrieve these memories, triggering feelings of comfort and happiness. It’s like a mental time machine that transports us to those cherished moments, flooding our minds with calming sensations and happy underwater memories, creating an instant sense of well-being.

A woman does a yoga pose as the sun sets over the water

There’s no denying the calming effect of ocean sounds on our minds and bodies. As scuba divers, we are fortunate to #LiveUnfiltered, surrounded by an environment that offers not only breathtaking beauty but also a therapeutic escape from the stresses of everyday life.

So next time you find yourself looking out at sea, planning your next dive travel adventure or just sitting on the beach, take a moment to appreciate the serenity of the ocean sounds. 

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