I’ve found that the sight and sound of water nearby not only increases my productivity, but ensures I have a reflective and fulfilling day – for my body and mind. Here’s how you can too.
Water has long been known for its calming effects on the human psyche. There’s a reason that most dream vacations involve a beach, river, lake or some other body of water. Whether you realise it or not, the presence of water has been calming and soothing your mental wellbeing since you first encountered it.
The reasons for this are plentiful and deep; but for the purpose of this article, we will instead be focusing on the results – the fun stuff. More specifically, I’ve found that my productivity and mental health are greatly improved by simply positioning myself closer to a body of water throughout the day. In fact, even just knowing that water is nearby (whether it’s being lucky enough to have a view of it or hear the sound of running water) is enough to keep me calm through even the most stressful workdays.
A calming influence is definitely becoming rarer and rarer in the contemporary workplace. But some of these other benefits I’ve discovered through experience may surprise you.
#1 A Calming And Reassuring Influence
We touched briefly on the subject of water calming my nerves and improving my mindfulness. Although I would need a much longer form of article to explain the scientific reasons behind this, it’s worth delving shortly into how valuable this reaction is.
If I were to list these scenarios to you: running water. A cup of warm tea as you stretch out undercover while rain falls outside. Dipping your toes into a refreshing pool on a hot summers day. The sound (and look) of rain as it falls on your roof, on grass and even on the surface of a pool.
These examples bring about a sensation of calmness, of sublime satisfaction – do they not? This feeling of serenity can be transferred to your workplace. I find it a fantastic way to decrease my overall stress levels and provide a trigger to simply stop what I’m doing, step back and take a moment to breathe. This can be invaluable in a hectic workplace and the value of peace of mind cannot be understated.
Much of the time you don’t even need to enter the water to feel its benefits (although swimming, in general, is tremendously healthy, for your body and emotional mood.) Merely be close to water can be enough to fill you with a sense of calm, especially if you make it a habit to stop and appreciate it daily.
#2 Separate The technology And Distractions From Your Day
So, while you are technically able to bring your electronics with you whenever you are near a body of water (such as a pool) I always make it a point to leave my smartphone behind. Why? Well, apart from the obvious, if not unlikely, chance that I will drop it into the water, I find cutting off external distractions such as text messages and social media, conducive to productivity.
This may not be the most revolutionary idea, but I find that it enhances the already relaxing tendencies of nearby water. It’s just myself, the sound of nearby water, and my work. Instead of taking a break and quickly checking social media on my phone, I am instead compelled on my break to simply sit back and appreciate either the view or the sound of the nearby water – sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get both.
#3 A Quick Dip Never Hurt Anybody; Instead, It Helps Plenty
This one may seem a little counter-productive, but if you’re working near a body of water – such as a fibreglass pool – then you may as well use it. I can already hear you asking: but how does taking a break to swim in a pool make me more productive?
Well, it works a little bit like a cup of coffee, only far more healthy for your body. Have you ever felt a slumping kind of feeling at work? It typically hits just after lunch and in the early afternoon, where you suddenly find yourself creatively drained, and even easy work tasks turn into mundane chores.
A quick swim, even if it’s just for ten minutes, wake up your endorphins and get your blood circulation pumping. This is a fantastic, wholesome method to feel more awake and naturally energised. Moreover, this energy boost is more long-lasting than caffeine. Bonus points if the water you submerge yourself in is extra cold, shocking your nervous system awake.
There is also something to be said about the satisfaction you gain from a short, but intense workout in a pool that compels the productivity from a calmed and energised mind.
As you can see, I find my most productive and reflective moments almost always occur when water is nearby. It is therefore a logical next step to try each day to work near the water, and achieve deeper mindfulness. Hopefully, by following my experience, you can too.