As Durbanites, we can all agree that at one point or another, we began to take our proximity to the ocean for granted. But the thing is, beautiful things do not lose their shine simply because we become accustomed to their existence. Beautiful things will continue to shine for as long as we place a spotlight on them. So readers, today is all about highlighting the sheer majesty of our very own Indian Ocean.
There’s a reason why prolific artists the world over have written songs, adorned canvases and even penned novels, about the allure of coastal living. Truthfully, life by the seaside is an absolute breeze, and those of us who are lucky enough to have the surf on our turf, will attest to the many benefits we enjoy as a result.
For decades, health-aficionados have cited Vitamin Sea as the catalyst behind psychological and physiological well being.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Exeter found that coastal dwellers were likely to enjoy a healthier lifestyle compared to their inland counterparts. A variety of contributing factors shaped this hypothesis, namely: the carefree seaside environment, the abundance of sunshine, and the meditative effect of crashing waves.
If we are to analyse the physiological benefits of coastal living, we need only look to the myriad of evidence-based studies likening sunshine to some sort of golden ecstasy. It is a well-known fact that Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to various terminal illnesses. Compared to the artificial lighting found in most offices, coastal dwellers enjoy a significantly higher exposure to natural sunlight, which therefore results in a greater absorption of Vitamin D.
Coastal dwellers also reported an increased desire to engage in physical activity, such as seaside strolls, runs on the promenade and spontaneous dips in the ocean, due to the close proximity of the beach.
But it’s not all about brawn, coastal living has an effect on your brain too! Did you know that listening to the sound of ocean waves actually alters brain patterns, leaving you relaxed, revitalised and rejuvenated? Now that’s what I call current music!
Coastal living offers many psychological benefits, which in turn help to improve your mental wellbeing. Unlike the hustle and bustle of crowded cities, life on the coast offers working professionals a brief respite from the daily grind. The recurring imagery of crashing waves creates an intensely meditative experience, and has been linked to decreased levels of stress and anxiety.
The lyrics to Shekinah’s hit song, “Back To The Beach” say it all. Much like the ocean, it’s a lot deeper than you’d think.