If you’re reading this article you probably already know that vacationing Americans travel to the beach more often than anywhere else. Although they are a pretty close second, even mountains do not receive as many visitors as water destinations.
And really – who doesn’t love the beach? The intoxicating smell of the ocean; sand between our toes; friendly people; beautiful sunsets; and a universal sense of contentment. But why do we find beaches so stress-relieving? In The Inertia, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols says that we all have a “blue mind that is a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.” According to Wallace, this is triggered when we’re in or near water.
Bruce Mason provided some great information about positive and negative ions in his December 2017 HuffPost article – How Negative Ions Produce Positive Vibes.
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it is the abundance of negative ions in natural environments such as the beach that lead to our feelings of calm. Positive ions are molecules that have lost one or more electrons whereas negative ions are actually oxygen atoms with extra-negatively-charged electrons. When we are exposed to too many positive ions, we feel tired and lethargic.
Negative ions, on the other hand, lead to affirmative feelings by increasing levels of our ‘feel-good’ hormone, serotonin. This can relieve depression and increase energy levels. And although both negative and positive ions occur naturally in our environment, positive ions are becoming more prevalent. Computers and cell phones are among the most common sources of these free radicals. We can access more negative ions by spending time in nature – particularly the beach.
If you’re looking for some of the best family beaches in Florida to increase your exposure to negative ions check out:
This laid-back beach is snuggled into the Gulf side of the state and well-known for parasailing, paddleboarding, cycling, rollerblading, and jet-skiing.
On the Atlantic side of Florida, you will find the iconic Daytona Beach. It’s known for NASCAR races in February, motorcycle rallies in the spring and fall as well as boardwalks, summer concerts, waterslides, and hard-packed sand that supports vehicles.
Siesta Key is a barrier island off the Gulf coast of Sarasota. Known for its beautiful beaches with shallow water, this paradise is ideal for families. Point of Rocks with its limestone outcroppings, tidal pools, and coral reefs is a perfect place to explore in a clear kayak from The Crystal Kayak Company.
Dubbed as Florida’s “Enchanted Island”, Amelia Island is a very popular ocean destination. The 21 km of sandy beaches is enough to put anyone into a state of bliss.
PANAMA CITY BEACH
Known for its miles of white-sand beaches, this vacation destination is located in northern Florida on the Gulf side of the state. Two protected nature preserves make it particularly interesting.
What are your favorite sources of negative ions? Post a comment. We’d love to hear from you.