If you’re looking for somewhere to relax and unwind, a stay in the coastal town of Portpatrick in South West Scotland is the perfect place to benefit from a break at the beach. Stay in this friendly seaside town and you’ll have easy access to walks along the stunning coast of the Rhins of Galloway.

It’s no secret that we turn to water to help us relax – sinking into a hot bath at the end of a hard day, heading to the coast for our holidays, or enjoying water sports like surfing, scuba diving, sailing, and swimming. Market research has shown that we even tend to associate the colour blue with calm, openness and wisdom. Which means that many of you will head to the coast when you need a break from routine and a place to get away from it all.

If you’re not convinced  – take a look at these 6 reasons why a trip to the coast can help you relax and forget about the stress of everyday life.

1. Water gives our brains a rest

The sound of the sea can give our brains a break from the over-stimulation they get from all our technical devices, city streets, offices and busy homes that fill our daily lives. Take a little time out to stand and watch the horizon over the ocean. Both the sounds and sights you’re taking in are simplified. This gives our brains a rest and helps them work in a different way.

Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, believes that we all have a “blue mind” that is triggered when we’re on or near water. In his book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, Nichols writes that our brains react positively to water and being near it can calm and connect us.

2. Helps with meditation

We’ve all been mesmerised when watching the waves and this can have a beneficial effect on both mind and body. The brain is interested and engaged but not overloaded. Research has shown this can lower stress levels, improve mental focus, help relieve anxiety and depression, reduce pain.

3. Helps us breathe easier

When we first step onto the beach we often take in a deep breath – a natural response to the quality of the air. Your chest muscles relax and negative ions in the air help increase the amount of oxygen absorbed in the lungs. If you suffer from asthma, COPD or breathing difficulties, you’ll find it easier to breathe by the coast than almost anywhere else.

4. Can boost your immune system.

Saltwater has unique antibacterial and anti-fungal proportion that can help fight external infections but the iodine found naturally in seawater can also boost the thyroid gland and your immune system helping you fight off internal infections too.

5. Good exercise

Walking on the sand uses more muscles than walking along a pavement – even more so if you take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the sand. Of course, if you want even more strenuous exercise, then you can continue along The Southern Upland Way coast to coast walk from Portpatrick!

6. Help us sleep better

Stress, anxiety and lack of physical fatigue can all inhibit a good night’s sleep. A walk along the coast can boost your serotonin levels (a key hormone for relaxation and happiness) and reduce your stress levels making it far easier to have a deep and peaceful sleep later.

Will you follow doctor’s orders and head to the coast?

So, it seems there’s a reason relaxation tapes often include the sound of the sea  . . . but the real thing can be even better! Even before the 1800s doctors would prescribe a trip to the coast to help with stress, anxiety, arthritis, depression and more. Of course, you don’t need to wait for doctor’s orders. If you’re feeling the need to get away from it all, book some time out of the office and head up to Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway for a stay in Number 4 bed and breakfast.

In the meantime, we hope the video helps you ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ till you get here!

Number 4 Portpatrick B&B offers ensuite rooms just minutes from the harbour front and within sight of the start of The Southern Upland Way Coast to Coast walk. Find out about the latest availability and book your stay today.

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