We’re all a little bit stressed at the moment. It’s difficult not to be. What with a cost-of-living crisis, ongoing wars, political chaos and the general day-to-day struggles, you could perhaps be considered lucky if you weren’t suffering some form of stress.
We’re seeing mental health cases rise considerably across the UK, particularly when it comes to the likes of addiction and depression, with a worrying number of people abusing the likes of alcohol and opioids. Sanctuary Lodge, a centre offering alcohol addiction recovery in Essex, have seen a stream of people coming through the doors in recent times, looking to try and get their lives back on track.
Activities and hobbies play a huge part in doing that, whether suffering from alcoholism, or enduring a particularly stressful period at work, and one that has really taken off in more recent times is wild swimming.
The wild swimming community certainly swear by it, but what makes it such a good stress-buster?
The calming tranquility
Of course, first up you’ve got the profound connection it offers with nature. Wild swimming takes place in natural bodies of water that provide a real serene environment. It offers fresh air and sounds that promote calmness from the rippling of water to the rustling of leaves in the trees. It allows you to detach from daily life and truly escape from the day-to-day stresses of life.
It releases endorphins
Swimming as an activity triggers the release of endorphins due to the rhythmic movement of it. It’s a brilliant low-impact exercise that promotes the production and release of endorphins, known as the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter.
That makes the activity a real uplifting experience that you can’t help but smile from, banishing those thoughts and feelings of stress and anxiety.
It’s cold water therapy
By immersing yourself in the cold water, it’s essentially providing cold water therapy. The cold water, often promoted by the likes of Wim Hof has been linked to a range of health benefits, including stress reduction. That’s because the shock of that cold water activates a stress response within the body, increasing circulation as well as releasing adrenaline.
Over time, this helps people react to stressful situations in a much calmer and methodical way.
You’ll start practicing mindfulness
Wild swimming allows you to take an approach that will see you present in the moment. It requires a heightened state of awareness that almost becomes a meditative experience, which as everyone knows is a great reliever for stress.
The social connections it brings
Wild swimming provides a brilliant community, and people really do make friends for life through it. It’s like having your own little support bubble in what is such a positive environment. Social interaction can be a brilliant stress buster. We all know it helps to talk, and there really is nothing quite like the wild swimming community.