"Blue Mind"

From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders, He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.
— -Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Scuba diving is an activity that the majority of people can participate in. It affords one the ability to slow down, relax and enjoy being underwater.  Diving provides a sense of weightlessness, quiet and freedom.

Divers typically share the same passions, aspirations and attitudes the sport brings. Most importantly, we enjoy the water.  It makes us feel good.  It doesn’t matter whether we are in the ocean, on the lake or sitting by the river.  Our attitudes and overall happiness is elevated when we are in, on, or near water. To some degree, we all share these same feelings.  Is this a coincidence?

The Big Picture Competition 2015 photography awards were held at the California Academy of Sciences in San Fransisco, CA. The emcee was renown marine biologist, writer, and scientist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. He theorizes how and why we are attracted to water. In his book “Blue Mind” he provides a theory why humans are attracted to water and how it makes us happy. Dr. Nichols believes everyone has a “blue mind”.

He writes in his book, “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment” — that’s triggered when we’re in or near water. The ocean provides a calming, soothing effect.  Being in a mindful state…this is when the brain is relaxed but focused… - Nicholas calls a “soft fascination"

He speaks about how water can heal the mind and body and help you tap into your most calm and creative state of being.

Nichols states several important benefits of finding your “blue mind.”

  • Water gives our brains a rest.
  • Water can induce a meditative state.
  • Water can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected.
  • A blue mind is a creative mind.
  • Exercise by or in the water is great for our bodies and brains.

How do you feel when diving or around water?  Do you have a “Blue Mind”?  Please share your thoughts.

If you would like more information on this topic. A link to the book “Blue Mind” is below.

Dr. Wallace was called “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and a “visionary” by Outside Magazine.


Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do