• John Good

Blue Mind review

Ever wonder why you feel the way you do about the water?

I finished reading @drwallacejnichols book #Bluemind a while ago. A friend had recommended it because he knows I love the water but I struggle to talk about why. Blue Mind came out in 2014. It's this sweeping study looking at connections between water and our inner lives. You’ve gotta love the subtitle "how water makes us happier, more connected and better at what you do". It’s about why we pay top dollar to live by the coast and how kayak fishing is helping war veterans overcome PTSD and understanding how water helps us overcome stress and anxiety by creating new neurological pathways. It's about naming some of the things we may have known intuitively as well as to discover more.

Nichols delivers a wave (’scuse the pun) of recent medical research, neuroscience and biology. It takes us on a journey understanding why being in and around water makes us healthier and happier. What was interesting to me is that the approach of the book isn’t just about head knowledge. Blue Mind takes through the physical, sensual, mental, spiritual, financial and creative ways water is good for us. Really though, I felt the book is aimed at the emotions. Nichols knows that becoming connected with water will naturally connect us deeply to each other, to God and to the world around us. Blue Mind is immersive. It is a powerful story of the ways water affects us. Nichols is keen to demonstrate that looking after our planet not only involves knowing about it but being connected with it.

The beginning felt slow as Nichols explains how we are able to study the brain. Probably becuase I didn’t understand it. After a couple of chapters, I became struck simply by the volume of ways in which water affects us. Who knew that when are out on the water, our brain is able to normalise the background so that when we see some small movement like a bird flapping it's wings or the wake from a nearby boat, our brains go into HD and experience healing as well as pleasure? Or even that the sound of the ocean is enough to remind us of the state we were in before birth? We link the sound of water to our life itself and so even hearing water is enough to begin to meditate us.

This book is perfect for anyone who loves the water and wants to explore why. It ends up linking medical research about the water to some of the deepest questions about who we are and why we live the way we do. It's for ponderers and wanderers and people who care about getting to the heart of things.

I’d love to do more with this book. There are some others I have been reading too. Perhaps we could get some people together in a pub or on a boat somewhere to explore some of these themes in more depth? I love the connectedness and spirituality that naturally emerges from the pages and could be a proper interesting time for anyone who might be up for it….

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