By: Scott Way
This probably won't come as a surprise, but boating makes you happy. While that's always been obvious in the abstract, research is now starting to understand the psychology behind why human beings are so innately attracted to water. It turns out we experience behavioral, psychological, and emotional benefits when we're in, on, or near water. That means going boating is a measurable way to increase your happiness, so now you have the perfect excuse for spending every weekend at the lake.
One of the leading researchers analyzing the connection between water and happiness is Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, a bestselling book exploring the relationship between being active around water and the associated health benefits. According to Dr. Nichols, humans experience a drop in cortisol and an increase in serotonin at the mere sight and sound of water. Not only that, but "proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success." Sounds promising if you're stressed out and want to spend the weekend fishing, right? Even if you don't own a boat yet, there's good reason to find a prop and get it turning.
In this video from Discover Boating watch Dr. Nichols discuss how he's exploring the wellness benefits that come from boating and being active around water: