I enjoy surfing because it feels so good. It’s not just about riding the waves but also the breeze, the view, and much more. But did you know that what happens to your brain when you surf makes you feel this way? Surfing benefits not only the body but also the mind, and that’s what makes this sport interesting.
What happens to your brain when you surf? The brain releases feel-good chemicals when you surf, including adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. The negative ions emitted by the crashing waves contribute to this release and act as air vitamins for the brain. Surfing also alters brainwaves, soothing the mind, effectively acting as a form of meditation.
Surfing affects the brain in many ways. So, read on, as this post will discuss what happens to your brain when you surf and why doctors recommend surfing to their patients.
Surfing Releases Feel-Good Chemicals Into the Brain
When you surf, your brain releases several chemicals that will make you feel good. Among those are:
- Adrenaline – It is epinephrine in medical language. The adrenal glands produce them in response to fear and danger.
- Serotonin – This neurotransmitter, also known as the “happy chemical,” is in charge of our mood. The deficiency in serotonin has a link to depression and anxiety. Whereas increased amounts of this mood booster alleviate stress and enhance confidence. This natural chemical is also to blame for your euphoria after and during a surf session.
- Dopamine – This neurotransmitter is even more potent than endorphins. It regulates the brain’s pleasure and reward centres. Dopamine is released before a surf session. With exceptionally high amounts created due to unexpected success. It includes catching your first wave or riding that monster peak you never imagined you could.
- Endorphins – These feel-good substances are frequently referred to as the body’s natural painkillers. It is since they can help you get through any scenario by concealing pain and suffering. Endorphin release is also associated with euphoria. Outdoor and indoor surfing is employed in treatment clinics. It is to replace the high from alcohol and drugs with the endorphin rush of riding a wave.
The Positive Impact of Negative Ions
For generations, doctors have advised their patients to go to the beach. The water has a naturally calming impact on the brain. Just being near crashing waves makes us feel at ease and pleased.
The crashing waves emit negatively charged ions. These cause the body to create feel-good substances and alter brainwaves. Negative ions cannot be seen or smelled by the human eye. Although they are present in some situations, particularly near vast volumes of water.
Exposing yourself to negative ions frequently can help reduce the risk of depression and ease its symptoms. Negative ions can help you feel better and improve your well-being. Many air purifiers use negative ions to enhance their benefits and experience.
Surf and Be Exposed to These Air Vitamins
Exposure to negative ions when surfing can increase oxygen flow to your brain. What it does is that it improves your alertness, boosts your mental energy, and reduces drowsiness. No wonder why surfers love the sport, although it’s pretty challenging.
The negative ions you can get from surfing can also protect you against the particles in the air that might cause throat irritation, cough, and sneeze. You can observe these benefits when you go out and catch the waves in the sea and compare it to when you’re indoors in an air-conditioned place.
Surfing Affects Your Brainwaves
Swimming and diving breathing patterns boost the parasympathetic nervous system. It affects brainwaves and soothes the mind. As a result, it produces hormones that make you feel good.
Brainwaves have five types: Betta, Gamma, Theta, Alpha, and Delta. When a person is lazy or worn out, our brainwaves become slower. The faster brainwaves are active when we feel awake and energized.
When confronted with a wave, you must concentrate on the work at hand, and your brainwaves begin to accelerate. People focusing on a job, catching the next wave, writing an outstanding paper, or producing an excellent project at work, begin with Beta waves and work our way up to Alpha and Theta.
When we concentrate on a job, whether it’s catching the next wave, writing an outstanding paper, or producing an excellent project at work, we begin with Beta waves and work our way up to Alpha and Theta. We are nearing our peak performance when Alpha wave activity increases. When theta waves enter the picture, we get a lot of excellent ideas. That priceless moment of bright thoughts when we can link all the dots.
Surfing Switches Your Brain In Defense Mode
Surfing is also a form of meditation. Unlike what most people think about meditation, it is interesting to know that this practice isn’t only about quietness and sitting still on a braided cushion.
You can enter a state of meditation just by looking at the ocean. Surfing encourages you to concentrate your thoughts on the current moment, freeing your mind once you’re in the water. Similar to what lifelong meditation practitioners experience, surfers go through dissociation when surfing.
Dissociation is a part of our natural survival system that helps us get through stressful situations. So, if things become too overwhelming, go out and try surfing.
After the surge of neurotransmitters in the brain, the parasympathetic system assumes control, and all slow down. At the same time, cortisol secretion stops, reducing stress. The activity of alpha brainwave predominates. As a result, you’ll experience a great sense of calm in your mind. It also eliminates your stressful thoughts, and your agitated inner monologue abruptly stops, too.
Can Surfing Benefit My Brain?
What happens to your brain when you surf? Surfing can help improve your focus and concentration and increase your ability to think creatively. The sport can also reduce stress and anxiety and boost your mood and energy levels. Instead of watching surfing movies, why not learn how to surf today?