You know the feeling. You've been sitting in traffic all day, driving to the beach. You spend forever trying to find a parking spot, and you keep slipping while you try to carry the umbrella and the towels and your book. This weekend getaway has you all stressed out!
Then you start to hear the waves as you get closer. You get to the top of the first sand dune, see the massive blue ocean and it all just melts away.
Now that feeling of relaxation you always associate with seeing the ocean has been scientifically proven. A new study in the journal Health and Place looked at 450 adults in Wellington City, New Zealand, and found that lower levels of psychological distress were linked to an increased visibility of "blue" space like the Pacific Ocean.
No wonder there's such a premium on ocean-view property!
But being wealthy wasn't the reason the people who could see the ocean were happier. Even after taking into account factors like age and wealth, the researchers still found that exposure to blue space had a positive effect.
Now the team is interested in conducting further research to probe the limits of the effect. Do other cities show the same effect, or do New Zealanders just really love the ocean? Does it have to be the ocean, or would the Great Lakes work, too? Could ocean views from high-rises help cancel out some of the stress of living in a big city?
All great questions. But while they're looking into them, we're going to go ahead and change our desktop background to something like this:
Couldn't hurt! And it sure is a lovely view.