There is something magical and magnetic about being near water whether it be the ocean, rivers or other bodies of water. Apart from the practical reasons that our bodies need water to survive and that water is necessary for many other functions of day to day living, this factor of appeal and being drawn to water has gone on for many thousands of years.
When you consider the fact that our bodies consist of almost 70% water, it is clear that just on a biological level there is a key connection to water, based on likeness alone.
For most people, looking at water triggers the body into releasing chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland and they help one to relax, reduce pain and make you feel good. Endorphins can reduce stress and anxiety. Because of this, water can genuinely give you a “feel-good” feeling. Think of how many times you have sat or stood looking out over water and felt calmer and less stressed as a result. Undoubtedly you have observed other people doing the same.
I believe one factor that plays a part in drawing people to water is that of “rhythm”. By that, I mean if you are near the ocean there is a rhythmic or recurring motion that occurs such as waves repeatedly flowing in and flowing out – there is a continuous repeated motion. In a river the water is repeatedly flowing which creates its own but different rhythm. The recurring lapping water on the edges of the rivers or lakes is another kind of rhythmic action. Water that is static and has much less recurring motion or flow (less rhythm), while still valued, seems to be less appealing than water with motion and rhythm.
Water with its own rhythmic pattern generally produces yet another form of rhythm which is that of sound – moving water produces a regular and repeated pattern of sound. Think of the crashing waves in the ocean or the sound of a bubbling brook or river. This sound has a calming and relaxing effect as well – or at least adds to the rhythmic effects of water.
Rhythmic motion or action seems to play a pretty important part in making people feel relaxed, calmer, less stressed or simply feel good and thus adds to the appeal and draw of water. Look at rhythmic actions of kids going back and forward on a swing, sitting in a rocking chair going back and forward, rocking a baby back and forward. There are so many other examples of rhythmic action that people like to do in life, it could be concluded that rhythm is considered, knowingly or unknowingly, as a key part of helping to relax, relieve stress or make you feel better in some way.
But people tend to have a tolerance for how much rhythm they like to have. If the rhythmic motion or rhythmic sound is not enough or more than they can tolerate then the calming, relaxing and other beneficial qualities of that rhythm become less. You don’t generally see people going to a raging ocean or flooding stream to relax and calm down.
My own conclusion on this is that people are drawn to water and find it relaxing for the above (and more) reasons but this point of “rhythm”, the degree and quality of, is anot something I myself considered until recently when deciding to take a look at this subject.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the above.