Life is better at the beach, isn’t it? I mean, we believe in the philosophy so much that we made it our motto. But it’s more than just the sun, sand and sea that result in you feeling so “hakuna matata”. There is hard science – solid, incontrovertible evidence – that you are happier at the beach. So much so, in fact, that we will shortly be lobbying the NHS to subsidise summer holidays*. See why below…
*Not an actual political statement
1. YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO DIE
Well, if you’re swimming with sharks or wreck diving, we offer no guarantees but, in general, holiday-induced relaxation leads to a longer life. A study of 12,000 men over nine years showed that those who didn’t take an annual holiday were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack. Choose life. Choose the beach.
2. YOU ARE NOT AT WORK
Basic, yes, but we don’t need research to tell us that not being at work makes us happy. Respite from Outlook calendar alerts, the office sleaze, scaly “aircon” skin, the commute, computer crashes, achy mouse wrist… Bliss.
3. ALL LOVED UP
Whether it’s your bestie, boyfriend/girlfriend, mates, family or spouse, most people head off on holiday with someone they love. In fact, beaches are so good for love vibes that 46% of honeymooners head to one to celebrate their nuptials.
The ultraviolet rays in sunshine can improve your sense of physical and emotional wellbeing by stimulating the production of vitamin D – this boosts our production of serotonin, the chemical that works to keep us feeling alert, up-beat and happy.
5. SOUND WAVES
If you’ve ever fallen asleep to the sound of crashing waves, then you know how the repetitive gentle bass beat can dispel stress and bring about a blissful state of calm. Plus – the science – research shows that the sound of waves alters the wave patterns in the brain, making you more calm and relaxed. Relaxed = happy.
6. BOBBING AROUND
Just floating in the sea will lift your mood and boost your health: taking a dip at the beach opens the pores and helps to remove toxins from your body, plus there’s enough magnesium in the water to have a significant effect on calming nerves. Apart from that, it is just plain fun
7. READ ALL ABOUT IT
Research shows that simply reading for pleasure (Twilight, John Grisham, you name it…) reduces stress by 68%. What’s more, this improved mood can be seen in a mere six minutes. Imagine how destressed (and happy) you would be after two weeks.
8. LUNCHTIME BREW
And we’re not talking about tea. Nothing beats the feeling of freedom that accompanies a lunch time beer. Just because you can.
9. HAIR SUPPLY
We know how bad hair can ruin a day so, inversely, good hair must improve it. “Sunlight makes your hair grow quicker and the iodine in seawater is great for the health of follicles,” says hair guru Neil Cornelius. “And then there’s that fresh, unfussy way that seawater makes your hair look. Billions of pounds have been spent in trying to recreate the look of just-off-the-beach hair."
10. BETTER SKIN
Word of the day: Thalassotherapy. It’s a big word for treating people with – or in – sea water. Call us vain, but breakouts make us want to stick our head in the sand, not lounge on it. “In moderation, the sunshine and seawater can help to clear up problematic skin by drying it out, and the salt is a natural exfoliant. Also, the silicone in the sea leaves skin looking younger, tighter and smoother,” says beauty wiz Teresa Tarmey.
By Julia Neel