Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

Wallace J. Nichols. Little, Brown, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-25208-9
In this profound study, Biologist and researcher Nichols shares the many ways in which water positively impacts not just our lives, but also our minds. The title refers to the author's term for "a mildly meditative state characterized by calm...and a sense of general happiness...inspired by water and elements associated with water." This state is in strong contrast to anxious or angry "Red Mind" and depressed "Gray Mind." Nichols supports these claims with research spanning across multiple disciplinaries exploring neuroplasticity and neurochemistry, happiness, and creativity, and cites studies that demonstrate a positive impact of water on addiction and autism. He reviews the impact of water on each of the human senses: its blue color and gentle motion; the smells and tastes we perceive in water or rain; how we feel when immersed. Water "play" including surfing, swimming, and fishing activities are discussed with respect to their impact on the brain. Nichols concludes with the story of his Blue Marble project, in which he presents audiences with a symbol of the watery Earth to remind them of their connection to, and responsibility for, the resources of our planet. With many citations for the scientifically curious, and numerous anecdotes that entertain, Blue Mind will interest a broad audience, from fans of water sports to ecologists. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 07/22/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-316-25207-2
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-316-25211-9
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