“Awe is defined as the feeling of wonder and reverence mixed with feelings of fear when experiencing something vast or novel. Nothing inspires awe like the vastness of the ocean.”
–– from this article about surf therapy.
That feeling of awe is what people who struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and other ailments can easily lose sight of. To be truly inspired and awestruck is something that I think we all need more of, if we’re being totally honest, and surfers all over the world have developed an amazing solution. Surf therapy programs are popping up from the Philippines all the way to Ireland! These programs help people of all ages get out of their head and experience life to the fullest.
Surfing uses equal parts brain and physical function, making it a great way to shift your focus from the troubles of the outside world. You have to be focusing on your balance, the waves, and (ideally) not wiping out. Surfing is also a very accessible activity, so just about anyone can do it!
In addition to the benefits surf therapy can have for people with mental illness, there are also amazing programs for children with neurological disabilities! Surfing the Spectrum, a non profit organization in Australia, aims to work with autistic children and their families to build a strong, educated, and aware community. Surfing can help these children with communication, behavioral, and sensory issues – and they have a blast while doing it!
If you want to learn more about the research and success of Surf Therapy, check out the International Surf Therapy Organization. Their website has a comprehensive list of surf therapy organizations all over the world! It is the hub for hard working organizations to connect with researchers and stay up to date on the most recent studies and advances in this field. If you or someone you know could benefit from surf therapy, this is the place to go.
Before you venture out, don’t forget to give yourself more peace of mind and order your Shark OFF Proven Shark Repellent! Our CEO Shea struggles with depression herself and wants to help more people “Love the Ocean”, because it loves you right back. Thanks for reading and and once again, Lose the Fear and LOVE the Ocean!