According to researchers, spending time outdoors is good for both physical and mental health, and the beach is especially effective.

Most of us feel a certain sense of calmness when we're near the water, and neuroscientists have found four specific ways that we can benefit by heading to the ocean.

1. Going to the beach reduces stress

Beyond the mental unwinding, the positive ions in water are a physical stress relaxer. Going for a swim, wading a few feet deep, or even just walking so the waves wash over your feet will improve your mood.

2. The beach boosts your creativity

Researchers refer to the beach as a "blue space", where you can clear your head and let the creative side of your brain take over.

3. Going to the beach can help reduce feelings of depression

The rhythmic crashing of the waves, along with the expansive view can bring about something similar to a hypnotic, meditative state, allowing you to clear your mind and push away the chaos of daily life.

4. Spending time at the beach will change your perspective on life

Nature in general has always been a factor in healthy happy lives, but the beach in particular is so good for the soul.

John Foxx/ThinkStock

I'd like to amend this research by saying "the beach improves your health from September through April"...because from May through August, I can tell you that trying to visit the beach is the opposite of relaxing.

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