In today’s world, most of the people suffer from one condition irrespective of their age and gender, the condition called “stress.” It is annoying how we have made stress an integral part of our lives, be it on a personal or work front. Stress, which might appear as a mere pressure in the initial phase, might gradually give rise to serious health problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, depression, asthma, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and so on.
Nature, however, provides solutions in its own way and aquatic life is one of them. Having an aquarium has proven benefits of stress relief and relaxation.1 Irrespective of the size and shape, it has a calming effect on the human brain. No wonder we often see an aquarium at a doctor’s clinic, child care centers, spas, and restaurants. Below are the reasons why aquariums are considered as effective stress-relievers.
Aquarium For Relaxation And Stress Relief
1. Lowers Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
Directly or indirectly, high blood pressure and increased heart rates have always been linked to stress. A study was conducted at the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, when the aquarium was restocking its aquatic creatures, after a renovation. The scientists from the Plymouth University utilized this opportunity to study the physiological and mental changes the subjects (observers) went through while observing the fishes. They found that with an increase in the number of fishes added to the aquarium, the blood pressure and the heart rate decreased towards normal levels. This, in turn, led to a gradual reduction in the stress levels.
2. Has A Calming Effect On The Brain
A survey conducted by American Pet Products Association showed that having an aquarium reduced anxiety levels significantly. Be it large or small, or the fishes real or virtual, observing them has a calming effect on the brain. Apart from the fishes, the ornamental plants, colored gravel, creepers, the bubbles, and the sound of flowing water also promote a holistic soothing effect.
This has been associated with the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which signals the brain to secrete endorphins–the feel-good hormones. These are the same hormones released when you are happy or after you have done a rigorous workout. Endorphins combat stress and anxiety, inducing positive feelings.
3. Improves Sleep
Stress levels and lack of sleep are always proportional to each other. The more stressed you are, the lesser you can sleep. As having an aquarium relaxes your mind, getting an uninterrupted sleep while keeping the cluttered thoughts away is no longer impossible.
Stress has also been linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is caused due to an obstruction in the airway. Research indicates that along with the medicinal treatment, a therapeutic treatment of having an aquarium around has shown quicker and effective results.
4. Colors Have A Soothing Effect
Colors have an enormous impact on us physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Lighter shades, especially, have a soothing effect on your brain. Seeing the colorful fishes in the aquarium stimulates positive feelings and reduces stress. It holds your attention for a longer time and improves your mood. This has also been linked to the production of neurotransmitter, serotonin, which in turn triggers the release of endorphins.
5. Enhances Creativity And Learning
A constant gaze at the beautifully moving fishes in the aquarium improves one’s concentration. Since concentration and learning are synonymous, observing fishes improves your learnability. It also enhances creativity, which doesn’t just keep you engaged, but also manifolds your productivity.
Apart from these, aquariums provide a great opportunity to explore the outside world to the people who cannot access it readily. In a high-stress environment, placing an aquarium can bring in noticeable relaxing changes.
Well, isn’t it amazing how fishes do good to us by just being in an aquarium, let alone eating them!
|↑1||Kidd, Aline H., and Robert M. Kidd. “Benefits, problems, and characteristics of home aquarium owners.” Psychological Reports 84, no. 3 (1999): 998-1004.|