(Pictured above is an elderly gentleman with gray hair riding to the top of a 3 to 4 foot wave in Carlsbad, CA)
Did you know that the U.S Marine Corps includes “Surf Therapy” as one of the forms of mental health treatment that they recommend for those who have served?
Doing outdoor physical activities will always help with improving your mood and help with depression however studies have shown that #watersports in particular are more helpful for those with anxiety as water itself is a scientifically proven #RELAXING environment.
The fluid properties of water are what make water sports more therapeutic than other land activities. It works almost your whole body but is light on the muscles and joints. That is why you see all the old people working out in the pool and doing water aerobics. I love seeing the older folk shredding waves when I paddle out!
(Pictured above is two elderly gentleman
walking with their surfboards along the loweri
-ng tide on a beach in Carlsbad, CA)
The ocean in particular is even more therapeutic than pools as the rhythm of the waves is also calming to the mind. I personally love falling asleep to the sound of soft waves crashing with my white noise machine my friend Hana bought for me, so you can only imagine what waves in person are able to do with adding the other two senses smell and feel! You can almost imagine the sand in between your toes and smell the salty ocean breeze now!
(You can purchase a white noise machine with wave sounds here: White Noise Machine )
One other way that surfing and any other ocean activities are therapeutic and good for mental health is that it forces you to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. The physical aspects of surfing combined with the attention and focus you need to be successful at the activity allows you to let go of daily stresses and anxieties and be in the present moment.
When you are out in the line up and out of your element it really is hard to think of anything else but surviving the session and catching a wave! All your worries and stresses seem to melt away.
(Pictured above is me, Brandon Morency in a full wetsuit taking a selfie while sitting on my surf board in the Pacific Ocean with a huge smile on my face throwing up the shaka sign)
Surfing truly is bliss. When you are able to ride the face of the wave whether it be a 1 foot wave or a 4 foot wave there is no other feeling in the world. You are at one with mother nature, at one with the universe and all the #energy in it.
With those physical and mental elements of surfing it truly is a great form of therapy and when paired with talk therapy you can really start to see a positive mental shift that helps with anxiety, depression and even PTSD.
Just watching surfing can be therapeutic! Check out my most recent Youtube video “Surf is Therapy” to get a better understanding of everything discussed here. I will never ever forget the joy I experienced that day! BEST THERAPY SESSION EVER!
I hope you all are able to get outside and into the water soon to experience the wondrous joy of #surfing!