Updated: Dec 6, 2019
Surf (Ocean) therapy is a relatively new yet very powerful experience
Modern surfing itself has only been around 70 years or so, yet native Hawaiians and Islanders have likely been riding waves for centuries. Anyone who has tried surfing can likely relate to the soothing, calming effect that it has. Now more recently, it is being discovered that surfing has far reaching effects on mental health and
Various organizations are discovering the benefits surfing and being in the ocean can have; including relieving PTSD and stress, providing a positive outlook on life and a new passion.
Surfing is one of the most healthy addictions a person can have, and all it really takes is one wave to understand why.
Besides for all of the anecdotal evidence and talk about how great surfing makes you feel, there is actually a lot of research being done on the subject.
Organizations such as the International Surf Therapy Organization, are coming together to study the long term benefits surfing can have. It is being used by organizations such as Wounded Warriors as a great alternative treatment for PTSD. The stress relieving effect of simply being in the ocean is powerful, coupled with the focus surfing takes truly helps ones mind relax. Surfing puts one into a state of flow, which is basically where ones mind is only focused on the present moment and task. This is repeatedly found to be the optimal state of mind. Even just those few seconds of this can reset the mind and ones outlook on life.
Also developing and fostering a passion for surfing is one way that it can also lead to a healthier life. It allows children and adolescents an opportunity to pursue something away from drugs and crime that many coastal communities still experience. Having the outlet and drive to want to go surfing means these things become simply undesirable.
Surfing is not only affects the surfers directly but as one develops a passion for it, they then share that stoke and joy with others around them. They become more compassionate and caring for the community and environment. Finding a joy as powerful as surfing ultimately benefits everyone.