Can Water Features Have a Positive Effect on Mental Health?  - Blue Thumb

Posted by Blue Thumb on Jul 21st 2022

Can Water Features Have a Positive Effect on Mental Health? - Blue Thumb

What does it take to be happy?

Since the pandemic started in 2020, our world has taken a lot of dramatic turns. Experts are asking, how do we prioritize our mental health? What if all it took was spending more time in nature? Particularly by water. Historically, we’ve been experimenting with similar studies since the Victorian era, when doctors prescribed their patients to breathe “sea air.” Now science is getting closer to proving that spending time in or near water bodies can positively impact our mental health. Wallace Nichols has spent most of his life studying the connection between water and mental health. In 2014 he published a book on the subject explaining the scientific studies that paint the theory of how bodies of water can impact our happiness on a molecular level.

Blue Mind Theory

Wallace published the book Blue Mind in 2014. He describes the book as “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.” The blue mind of the book’s title refers to the neurological, psychological, and emotional changes our brains experience when we are close to water. This theory not only applies to oceans, rivers, and lakes but also to swimming pools, fountains, ponds, and even bathtubs. If you can’t live near the water, the good news is that you can bring the water to you with Blue Thumb Fountain and Pond Kits.

Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes

Negative ions are tasteless, odorless molecules that are natural and abundant in the environment. They are found in waterfalls, near the ocean, and even in the air. Negative ions have been known to help people feel more energized and uplifted.

Some believe that negative ions can help with mood disorders like depression. This is because negative ions can boost serotonin levels which helps balance moods. If you’re not located in the mountains or the ocean, the best way to bring negative ions into your space is by utilizing moving water from a shower or sitting near a water feature. The science behind waterfalls producing negative ions is known as the Lenard Effect, or “waterfall effect,” coined by Lenard in 1905.

Blue Spaces and Health

Best Water Features For Positivity

Since negative ions form through the colliding of water droplets or the fine spray of droplets off hard surfaces, the best water features will be ones that have a waterfall effect. If you’re going for the ultimate zen zone, Pond-less Cascades would be the perfect water feature for producing a stress-free environment. They can be built with a dramatic splash and are less maintenance than a traditional water garden. Therefore, giving out the maximum amount of negative ions and keeping the chores to a minimum.

The idea that moving water or sitting in nature can reduce stress is nothing new. What is new is that our Western culture and healthcare systems are finally taking notice. Since Nichols published Blue Mind, more healthcare systems and communities have adopted the idea and purposefully created “blue spaces” to reduce stress as a healthcare tool. So, what does it take to be happy? According to Wallace Nichols and Phillip Lenard, the answer can be found under a waterfall.