photo: Pixabay

School may be back in session, but you’ll want to make the most of those last warm summer rays with a weekend trip to the beach. According to studies, the ocean can actually have an effect on your mind and your mood.

What better way to combat the stress of the back-to-school hustle and bustle, than a calm relaxing day at the beach? As NBC News Better explains, there’s a good reason you feel so at peace after a day of splashing on the shore. Data analyzed in a study published in Health Place found that people who live near the ocean reported having better mental and physical health than those who didn’t.

As a recent Gallup poll survey of the happiest states in the country highlights, being in close proximity to the outdoors makes you happier, so it follows that living near the ocean would also be a great mood-booster. Not everyone can afford a beach house, however, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ocean’s calming effects. As Richard Shuster, PsyD, clinical psychologist, tells NBC News, practicing mindfulness while you’re on a short visit to the beach can make the effects last after you’ve left the sand behind.

“Focus on how your body feels warm from the rays of the sun, focus on what it feels like to have your feet in the sand, breathe deep and smell the ocean air.” Most importantly, you need to disconnect. Avoid Instagramming every sand castle and seashell and just be present.

Do you feel more relaxed after a day at the beach? Tell us in the comments below.