Scuba diving can be tailored to meet many needs, including overall wellness. The first inhale from a regulator underwater, that overwhelming feeling of calm when surrounded by water on all sides, at peace as you watch the seagrass ebb and flow with the current. To some, scuba diving is a hobby for thrill-seeking; to others, it’s a mental escape; and for even more, it is both.
As divers, we know scuba diving can be good for our health. There are mental health benefits as well as physiological benefits, thanks to the practice of deep breathing. Because of this, there are countless wonderful organizations providing diving opportunities to disabled persons or war veterans suffering from PTSD or physical ailments.
Wellness (n): The quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal.
Why can’t we all bask in the wellness benefit of this sport? It’s time to change the conversation on why we should consider scuba diving a wellness activity.
Here are some reasons why both divers and non-divers might want to add scuba diving to their wellness routine. This may even be convincing enough to make your non-diving friend finally take the plunge!
The Ocean is a Mood Booster
In the book Blue Mind, marine scientist Wallace J. Nichols chronicles the idea that being in and around the ocean affects our mood. His extensive research shows that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water, producing feelings of tranquility, awe, and contentment. Further studies show that proximity to water, particularly the vast expanse of the ocean, improves our overall health and wellbeing by reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and fostering a sense of connectedness with nature.
Diving Increases Quality of Life
Around the world, divers and non-divers describe the positive effects that scuba diving has on their life. According to a study in Poland focused on people with physical disabilities, study participants reported an increase in their quality of life after trying scuba diving as opposed to other physical activities, both in the areas of mental health and social performance.
Breathing Underwater is Meditative
The sense of calm that overcomes you on a dive is not just a coincidence; it’s backed by science. Scuba diving provides many things for different people but has long been a tool to heal, thanks to the type of breathing practiced by most divers. When you’re underwater, deep and slow breathing is necessary to control your buoyancy and optimize your air consumption. And this deep and slow breathing also promotes a sense of calm, often compared to meditation or yoga underwater.
Scuba Diving Relieves Stress
Stress is one of the leading causes of health problems in the modern world, but scuba diving can help to reduce it significantly. This study conducted in Spain analyzed the potential health benefits of scuba diving. It details how participants showed reduced psychological distress after just one hour of scuba diving. This further supports the idea that being in blue spaces – areas that are near visible bodies of water – contributes to improving human wellbeing.
Scuba Diving is Social
According to a Harvard study, close relationships top the list of what keeps people happy and aging well. Becoming a scuba diver provides many opportunities to socialize and meet dive buddies from around the world. These connections with like-minded individuals often develop into lifelong friendships as divers bond over shared underwater experiences and a mutual passion for marine life. It’s safe to say that more diving and dive buddies are equivalent to more happiness!
Overall, wellness is not only about physical strength. It is also about knowing how to manage stress and being mentally fit.
Wanting to feel the rush of a drift dive or big animal encounter doesn’t diminish the fact that scuba diving can be both a thrill-seeker’s outlet and a wellness activity. This only further suggests that diving is for anyone, and you can tailor it to your unique goals and hobbies.
Are you ready to explore how scuba diving can help your overall wellness? Get scuba certified and start to #LiveUnfiltered.