Mallorca SUP Company is dedicating the month of January to mental health awareness and the healing power of water. Not just our seas and oceans, but also lakes, rivers, streams, fountains in city parks - even the impact of simply taking a shower or a bath!!
Having been through a particularly torrid time in my life, I felt totally lost. I struggled to find my purpose through a haze of anxiety, panic attacks and depression. And then one day I connected with the book "Blue Mind" having read an article on the BBC News entitled "Water Literally Washed Away My Anxiety." Everything began to make sense!
Mallorca SUP Company will be highlighting the book and "the science" behind it, throughout this month. But firstly, let look at our connection with "Blue" seeing as this is the colour that we most closely associate with water.
I have always had a close connection with blues and turquoises. But is there a reason that - like so many other people, I am drawn to this colour? Lets look at some great facts about the colour BLUE
The colour blue is a powerful asset when it comes to creativity. It is not only associated with the sky and the soothing, calm water of oceans and lakes - it inspires openness, peace of mind and tranquility. Blue is a cognitive colour that calms the mind, aids concentration and promotes clear and open communication. It promotes a sense of honesty, loyalty and trust -- hence the term "true blue"
Positive associations with the colour blue:
loyalty, trust and integrity
tactful, caring and concerned
reliability and responsibility
conservatism and perseverance
idealistic and orderly
authority, devotion and contemplation
peace and calm
Blue In Nature
We see blue sky because blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air and particles in the Earth's atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than others, because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.
Owls are the only birds who can see the colour blue - while the Bluebird cant see the colour blue at all!
Mosquitoes are attracted to the colour blue twice as much as to any other colour.
The colour blue is the least common colour in the foods we eat and the least common colour in nature
The "Blue Morpho" butterfly - the one from the emoji's - gets its colour from the fact that its wing scales are shaped in ridges. This causes sunlight to bend in such a way that blue light, at just the right wavelength, makes it to our eyes. If the scales were shaped differently the blue would vanish.
Around the world there are five designated "Blue Zones", where people live longer and live better than anywhere else. They are Ikaria - Greece, Okinawa - Japan, Ogliastra (Barbagia Region) - Sardinia, Loma Linda - California and the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. A team of scientists, anthropologists, demographers and epidemiologists searched for evidence based common denominators and found nine. This is now known as the "Power Nine". The following information has been sourced from BlueZones.Com
The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard w
The Okinawans call it “Ikigai” and the Nicoyans call it “plan de vida;” for both it translates to “why I wake up in the morning.” Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.
3. Down Shift
Even people in the Blue Zones experience stress. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. What the world’s longest-lived people have that we don’t, are routines to shed that stress. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour.
4. 80% Rule
“Hara hachi bu” – the Okinawan, 2500-year old Confucian mantra said before meals reminds them to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. People in the blue zones eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and then they don’t eat any more the rest of the da
5. Plant Slant
Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Meat—mostly pork—is eaten on average only five times per month. Serving sizes are 3-4 oz., about the size of a deck of cards.
6. Wine @ 5
People in all blue zones (except Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine), with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all week and have 14 drinks on Saturday.
All but five of the 263 centenarians we interviewed belonged to some faith-based community. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.
8. Loved Ones First
Successful centenarians in the blue zones put their families first. This means keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home (It lowers disease and mortality rates of children in the home too.). They commit to a life partner (which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy) and invest in their children with time and love (They’ll be more likely to care for you when the time comes).
9. Right Tribe
The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviour, Okinawans created ”moais”–groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. So the social networks of long-lived people have favourably shaped their health behaviours.
Some of the most beautiful destinations in the world to visit with more than a hint of blue are
Santorini, Greece - this town is very, very blue! Surrounded by sky blue waters as well as a blue sky, the whitewashed stone houses with blue roofs make the stunning landscape shine like a sapphire.
Joghpur, India - Known as India’s Blue City, this northwest settlement is home to a 15th-century former palace as well as kilometres of winding streets that are painted a soft, inviting blue.
Juzcar, Spain - Until recently, this town was the only official ‘Smurf village’ in the world. Originally conceived to be a promotion for Sony’s "The Smurfs" film in 2011, the locals loved it so much they voted positively in a referendum to keep the colour.
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand - These blue-glowing caves, are in one of the best places in the world to spot glow-worms. Located over 40 metres underground, these 30 million-year-old caves are lined with thousands of the shining insects, each giving off a softly glowing blue light which reflects off the still water.
Pablo Picasso was one of many painters throughout history who enjoyed periods of blue experimentation. Picasso had a “Blue Period” after moving from Paris to Barcelona in 1901. For four years the artist only painted pictures in varied shades of blue, his most famous being The Old Guitarist.
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were behind one of the most enduring fashion trends in history — blue jeans. Created as a rugged pant for factory workers and labourers jeans were originally produced in Genoa and made of thick corduroy like fabric. French weavers, in a series of failed attempts to reproduce the fabric, ended up creating an equally versatile twill fabric that they called denim. Dyed a deep dark indigo, jeans soon became a staple of most people’s wardrobes. When James Dean came on the scene in the 1950s, blue jeans suddenly became "dangerous" and anyone who wore them was seen as a rebel and even banned from entering public places such as restaurants and cinemas!
Music - From Elvis Presley to Madonna, to Fats Domino to Roy Orbison ... musicians have been penning songs with “blue” in the title.
And one final thought about the colour "Blue" ...
Our planet is 80% water - therefore 80% blue. Hence this is why we call it the Blue Planet. When we look at a map, spin a globe, watch the weather or indeed see our planet from space - we see blue. Wallace J. Nichols adopted the "blue marble project" as a way to pass on Blue Mind Thinking and its fundamental meaning.
This excerpt is from chapter nine of his book
"Pull out the marble you received when you came in, I told the audience. Hold it out at arm’s length in front of you, and look at it. That’s what Earth looks like from a million miles away: a small, blue, fragile, watery dot. Bring the marble close to your eye, and look at the light through it. Suddenly it’s as if you’re beneath the water. If that marble actually were made of seawater, it would contain trace amounts of virtually every element. It would hold hundreds of millions of organisms— plankton, larvae, single-celled creatures — in that one spoonful.
Now, I said, think of someone you’re grateful for. Perhaps someone who loves the water, or is helping keep the planet’s waters clean and safe and healthy. Or just someone you are grateful to have in your life. When was the last time you told them that you appreciate them, if ever? Think of how good it would feel to you and to them if you randomly gave them this marble as a way of saying thank you. It’s such a simple thing that we’re taught by our parents, to say please and thank you, but we don’t do it often enough.
Take this marble with you, I continued, and, when you get the chance, give it to that person you thought of. Tell them the story of what this marble represents—both our blue planet and your gratitude. Ask them to pass the marble along to someone else. It’s a reminder to us all to be grateful, for each other and for our beautiful world."
Maluhia a me ke aloha
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