Science has long been aware of the impact of “green space” on our mental and physical well being but is only beginning to understand the restorative powers of water. Healthcare professionals and everyday folks alike have confirmed that exposure to beautiful landscapes and natural environments can reduce stress, enhance mood, improve your ability to focus and even help you recover quicker from illness.
Now in the past decade, more scientists have stepped in to study the effects of water – specifically ponds, waterfalls, even oceans and other natural features – on health and wellness.
The results have confirmed what many pond owners have probably known all along – water soothes, heals and restores. It’s not just mystical thinking, either. Some unique studies have revealed fascinating results.
So if you’re only thinking or dreaming of adding a pond, waterfall or other water feature to your landscape, you now have even more compelling reasons to take the plunge.
Theories abound – some say that we were born into water in the womb so water brings us back to our most peaceful, safest moments.
Others believe that gazing at water puts us into a state of “soft fascination” in which we are interested and engaged, taking in sensory information, but not overloaded. In this mindful state, we become restful and contemplative, allowing our minds a much-needed respite from daily stresses.
Still other people believe that water is ingrained in our spirituality. Since the beginning of the human race we’ve used water in rituals, designated is presence as sacred and used it to symbolize rebirth, cleansing and clarity.
Just think of how many vacations we take to beaches and how many sports we enjoy – surfing, sailing, fishing, swimming – that all revolve around water!
Whatever the reason, water is more than just a natural element. It is intrinsically tied with our health in many subtle ways.
Water As Therapy
No doubt we live in a stressful world. Most of us run from one place to the next just to keep up. From work to family, community responsibilities and even the draining effect of keeping up with world events, we can end a day pretty exhausted.
Accumulated over days, weeks or even a lifetime, that kind of stress takes a tremendous toll on our physical and emotional well being.
But researchers are finding that simply being in the presence of water can actually reduce stress by allowing our brains time to rest. Watching fish glide through a pond or focusing on the soothing sounds of a bubbling fountain can lessen distractions, reduce overstimulation and actually improve focus and creativity.
So the next time you’re having a bad day or even in a mental rut, take a moment to sit beside your pond or pull up a chair near your water fountain and relax.
Water As Antidote
Some of the most interesting research on the healing effects of water has come from studying post-surgical patients.
Hospital patients with a view of natural and aquatic landscapes recover from surgery faster, experience less pain and require less medication.
Other studies have shown that watching fish in a tank can soothe Alzheimer’s patients, improve their appetites and reduce behaviors like yelling and wandering. The calming effects can decrease a need for medication and even lower healthcare costs.
Researchers believe that the motion, color and sound are responsible for some of the amazing effects, which include increasing attentiveness and even improving short term memory.
Whether you’re dealing with an infirm family member, are recovering from surgery or dealing with pain, it’s clear that the presence of water – and even the fish and wildlife associated with it – can have tremendous healing powers.
A Pond Can Transform You
When you add a pond or waterfall to your yard, it instantly transforms it into a living, breathing, dynamic space. And now that you know more about the healing power of water, you also know that ponds can be emotionally, spiritually and even physically transformative for you, too.
They give you a great place to relax and unwind. They’ve been proven to reduce stress. If you’re feeling stuck, are in a creative slump or want to dream up your next big idea, gazing into your pond may be exactly what you need.
Ponds and water features can help you focus, improve your memory, reduce pain and even help you recover from illness faster.
And the best thing about a pond or waterfall is that you can have one – no matter the size of your yard – to enjoy and reap the myriad benefits. If just the idea of sitting beside your pond is putting a smile on your face right now, if you’re already daydreaming about those relaxing, restorative moments, let us know. Ponds are our passion and we would love to bring that into your outdoor space.