Most medical professionals will recommend a range of lifestyle changes and quality of life improvements, coupled with psychotherapy, to achieve results. And in 2011, a paper found surfers reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than the general population. You’ll notice that many articles of similar ilk recommend jogging and freeform running, but if you live near a wide beachside, why not take up surfing? Even in today’s world when pharmaceuticals are so prevalent and mass-produced, relying on meds to treat mental issues is often the last resort. It's not predictable. To be perfectly honest, when I was younger I was just like all the chicks like surfers. When you are depressed or anxious to the point of snapping, it is only natural that you yearn to close yourself in, spend time curled up in the apartment. Foremost the positive feelings or stoke you get from being in the ocean is second to none. There are over 20 million surfers in the world, and the number is growing fast. In the case of physical activities with changing variables and obstacles, it almost certainly proves to be incredibly therapeutic. Even if you have a solid community around you, you can still feel like no-one cares. I feel like there is no "in between" surfer. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. In 2010, the UK's national health service conducted a six-week trial teaching patients suffering from depression and schizophrenia. We, humans, are instinctively attuned to feel more balanced and calm as we immerse ourselves into the broad natural landscapes and relish in the feast for the senses that it represents. The best hangs I've had with my mates have been on surf trips, the surf might not be predictable but the agenda is and so it allows you to slow down. I think about life more when I'm in the surf, I'll contemplate everything that's going on but it's more like a removed state, you dedicate a certain amount of time where you can't do anything else so you have this space to think about stuff. 1 min read 0 Comments, September 21, 2020 3 min read. Everything changing all the time so you have to be aware of what's going with the waves, the tides, the currents. But like in point break, sometimes at somepoint, those worry lines melt away and you're left with that moment of chill. The trial followed research by the University of Iowa students which found after just 30 minutes of surfing, people reported improved mood and calmness. I think often people that have been surfing for a while and are a bit older honestly look 5-10 years younger than their age. It doesn’t matter which type of surfing you take up, the challenging environment of the activity requires commitment and a level of immersion that will keep you goal-oriented until you reach the next benchmark. A lot of trial and error awaits, but as it goes with all things worthy, the rewarding aspects of the activity rear their head as soon as you learn the basics. Scientists found that the award is needed to make something a pleasant experience, but research also found that when there is a reward, our brains release dopamine, which is a chemical that causes us to feel good. If you’ve been asking yourself why surfers are so chill, get ready to discover how surfing impacts mental health. All it takes is some ‘adaptation’ to physical excretion and, as it has been implied above, the rewards await just around the corner. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, 9' 5" Naish. And then you catch a wave, and when you're on the wave everything else disappears and there's just joy, even just from standing up and cruising. Here's what they had to say: Have you found surfing helpful for your own mental health? , it is only natural that you yearn to close yourself in, spend time curled up in the apartment. However, exposing yourself to sensations can stimulate your brain to produce serotonin - the scent of the sea, all the nuances of a cloud-dotted sky, the feeling of cold water and ground beneath you. Since the science of stoke seems positive, we asked a bunch of surfers whether and why going out on the waves impacted their mental health. Cookies help us deliver our Services. If you start surfing you will never look back, I know it's not the answer to everything but I think there's an element of doing something that gives you a space for peace and rest. But over the years, that relaxed lifestyle shows. When it comes to the "chill" of surfing. After we have established the routine of risk and reward, dopamine will start to be … And the other is relationships, hanging out with people and the roadtrips. Yeah, there's a few crew that have been going through things like family situations. Surfing was an avenue for me to remove myself from those certain situations and spend quality time with quality people in my life and try to level out my spinning thoughts, doubts/anxieties. But since then, I think just the peaceful vibe, sitting in the ocean you have no control over it, it's inconsistent. And then slowly over time it's gotten better. You can find him onTwitter. That's what I'm trying to figure out, I think there is something about just being present in the ocean. There was guy who was trying to learn how to surf, all the locals were teasing him, and purposely cutting him off. I watched a documentary on happiness and they talked about this thing called flow, when you are carefully engaged in the activity you are doing and you lose all other thought, it's all-consuming. I'm not chill, but my arms are too tired to choke the crap out of idiots, so I let more things slide than I would have if I had not surfed. It is a scientifically proven fact. I was about nine, using my uncles mini-mal, and I paddled for my first wave and went right over the front of the board. Most medical professionals will recommend a range of lifestyle changes and quality of life improvements, coupled with psychotherapy, to achieve results.Consequently, we are looking at an ever-expanding spectrum of therapeutic behaviors that are wholeheartedly recommended to people with issues, and surfing is one of them. Surfing is an amazing framework for interacting with nature. Do you think surfers are more chilled out than most people? Learn how to recover and relax like a surfer. maybe if i lived off the land in rural baja with no one for miles around i'd be chiller. It's kind of like life, you'll have a shit surf, shit surf, shit surf, really average surf, a so so surf, a pretty average surf, and then a really good surf. There's heaps of stuff in my life I've done that I haven't stuck with—rugby, fishing—but surfing I guess I've kept up because I love it. What is it about surfing that you think helps people? We'll be sitting there having some gnarly conversations and as soon as they get near the beach there's this calmness. When I'm out there I can't think about anything else, I don't want to. Examining the science, there's more than a vague aura of surfer chill to indicate surfing helps your mental health. As a surfer every time I would go under I would be like oh my goodness gotta get to the top. In this video we analyze the different practices surfers perform to be calm on and off their boards. What do you think it is that brings that out? Now, since we’ve mentioned nature, it goes without saying that interaction with nature-made, ‘organic’ aspects of the surroundings contributes to the feeling of wellbeing. He also loves marzipan, although his wife hates it. Another reason would be what an epic workout it is, all that exercise reducing stress and releasing endorphins. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Press J to jump to the feed. Bio: Nemanja Marinkoff is editor-in-chief and TheGearHunt and WalkJogRun. Have you seen that surfing has made any kind of difference for the kids you work with? [ I AM A GIRL ] OTHER THEN DRUGS BECAUSE I HAVE FRIENDS LIKE THIS THAT DON'T DO POT =] JUST SO YOU KNOW lol The act of removing yourself from your normal routine and a bit of nature can be the best medicine sometimes. Escalating house prices, zero job security, the threat of nuclear war? For me it's something that breaks up my rhythms, I know I can actually take time out and even if the surf is crap it will still be good, dedicated time - even a gnarly person can find a bit of rest and peace in that time.