Surfing aka surfing the sea is indeed fun and has benefits. In fact, this sport is called having benefits for mental health. Come on, recognize how surfing in the sea helps maintain your mental health.
The benefits surfing for mental health
As you know that exercise has health benefits, including mental health. From relaxing walking to yoga can be a physical therapy that can improve cognitive function and other mental health.
One type of exercise that is popularly done as physical therapy, especially in Indonesia, is surfing or surf the sea. This was also discussed in the article published in Frontiers for Young Mind.
The article shows the benefits that can be obtained from surfing at sea for mental health, especially those who experience PTSD. Patients who experience PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder usually receive treatment in the form of drugs and speech therapy.
However, both do not work for a short time and patients need other methods to help overcome mental problems. Therefore, one alternative that therapists do is recommend it surfing to the patient.
Here are some reasons why surfing can be used as an alternative therapy for mental disorders.
1. Can interact with nature
One reason why surfing having benefits for mental health is that this sport makes you interact with nature. Exercising surrounded by nature has a positive effect on physical and mental health.
Reporting from Harvard Health, there are a number of studies that show that walking in nature can reduce stress levels and anxiety. So far it is not clear why this condition occurs. However, it is possible this is related to brain activity.
Look, the brain is a regulator of mood. For some people who spend time in the middle of nature it turns out to help improve the function of the cortex and prefrontal parts to focus. Both of these things turned out to affect the decrease in the hormone cortisol.
Meanwhile, the effects of spending time in the middle of nature will also be greater when listening to nature's sounds and physical activities in water, such as surfing. Thus, the level of mental fatigue felt by surfers may be lower.
2. The risk is commensurate with the results
Surfing in the middle of the sea may look dangerous because it challenges the big waves that can drown you. However, another reason why surfing having mental health benefits is the risk is commensurate with the results obtained.
When someone is surfing, he needs mental and physical skills in a changing environment. Surfing also requires commitment to face risks when falling from a surfboard. However, after successfully passing the challenge you will be much happier when you successfully 'ride' the waves.
When someone is in a happy state, the body secretes dopamine which helps him manage mental health. The reason is this one chemical that allows you to feel happiness, satisfaction, and enthusiasm.
This pleasant experience while surfing in the ocean finally helped reduce the level of depression and anxiety compared to the general population. Therefore, surfing can increase happiness for people who experience PTSD.
Dopamine is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. When you feel good that you have achieved something, it is because you have dopamine waves in the brain.
3. Requires a high intensity to move
In addition, surfing is an activity that requires a lot of physical and energy. Even more, surfing also offers quite varied challenges. thus making it have mental health benefits.
Starting from carrying a surfboard, paddling to the middle of the sea while looking at the waves, to maintaining the balance needed when surfing. Reporting from the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity can release chemicals in the brain that make the body feel better.
In fact, exercising, such as surfing the sea, can also increase self-confidence and make a better mood. This is because physical activity changes the activity in the amygdala and hippocampus involved in the response when stressed and feels threatened.
In addition, physical activity can also increase the size of the hippocampus and notify the amygdala that you are in a safe situation. Various reasons are made surfing provide benefits for mental health because it includes physical activity with high intensity.
Safe tips when surfing
For you beginners who want to maximize the benefits surfing, especially for mental health, you should know what needs to be prepared first. It aims to reduce the risk of injury and feel safer when surfing at sea.
- Make sure you are not alone at the beach or invite friends.
- Wear a leg strap that is fastened to a surfboard if you are a beginner.
- Use sunscreen even in cloudy weather.
- Wear comfortable clothes, like diving suits.
- Warm up before entering the water.
Surfing at sea does offer good benefits for your mental health. Therefore, the researchers are very interested in conducting further research into the effects of surfing therapy on the quality of life of those experiencing PTSD.
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