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Just Add Water | Stress Management

Picture this: a calm morning, on a patio with a hot cup of coffee as you overlook a peaceful river, flowing before morning life awakens. The hustle and bustle of life has somehow paused for you to enjoy and be present in this moment. The sound of the river flowing through rocks as you observe its delicate rush down stream is mesmerizing.

But why? Why can observing water be so calming and relaxing to us? Water affects our parasympathetic nervous system which communicates to our body: “relax.” When we are well hydrated, our brain and body can function more clearly. This is something to consider when we are dealing with high periods of stress in our life. Are we staying hydrated, or is that something that gets forgotten on the bottom of our to-do list? Sometimes the symbolism of taking a drink of water can act as a natural pause to an otherwise busy life.

Water is not only a key ingredient in the makeup of the human body (60 percent!), but it also assists in regulating our body temperature, delivering nutrients and oxygen throughout our body, helps with brain function, and so much more! Consuming water not only helps our body's physical function but mentally as well.

Practically, let’s apply what we know about water as a stress management technique. One application is to consider that we can experience water with all of our senses. Imagine sitting by the ocean, and feeling the cool waves rush between your toes, while smelling the salty air, and hearing them crash onto shore. Observing the traits of water can make some individuals feel grounded and present. This is why watching water can influence our nervous systems and help us feel more relaxed!

If, like most of us, you can’t sit by the ocean or a nice calming patio near a river, you can still experience the calming effects of water. This could look like drinking water, washing your hands, adding fragrance to a diffuser, or putting on rain sounds. Our hope is that implementing small elements of water each day will, over time, assist in stress management. Give it a shot!



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