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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Healing Masterpiece...
And so I got all formats: Kindle. Audible. Hardback.
The science is cutting edge. You will learn some things you've always known on a gut level, but you'll learn the science behind them.
You'll learn much you don't know and you need to pay close attention if you are struggling with a health crisis of some sort.
Everything Dr. Nichols discusses... you want...
Published 5 months ago by oceanshaman

versus
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heart in right place but disappointing
I was really looking forward to reading this book and paid full price to get it to take with me on a vacation -- to the beach. Unfortunately, I feel very disappointed. It's not the science that bothered me -- I'm kind of geeky and I was looking forward to enjoying the science beneath my own love for being near water. But the truth is that there is not all that much...
Published 4 months ago by Karen


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Healing Masterpiece..., July 22, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
And so I got all formats: Kindle. Audible. Hardback.
The science is cutting edge. You will learn some things you've always known on a gut level, but you'll learn the science behind them.
You'll learn much you don't know and you need to pay close attention if you are struggling with a health crisis of some sort.
Everything Dr. Nichols discusses... you want to ask:How can I apply this cutting edge knowledge to what I am facing in my own life? Or to what I see loved ones facing?
Dr.Nichols connects many dots in this field of exploding scientific progress and discovery but you will need to complete what this book can do for you personally... as a healing masterpiece.
My background is medical so healing is major in my world.
I believe this book has so much to offer and I encourage you to share what you learn... knowledge,insights... with others you know and care about.
Expect to be intrigued. Expect to be fascinated. Expect to be surprised. Expect to find this to be a transformative book of enormous power.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the beach is so soothing, July 30, 2014
By 
Joan N. "bookwomanJoan" (Whidbey Island, WA USA) - See all my reviews
I always knew there was something special about living on an island, surrounded by the calming sounds of lapping waves. This book explains it.

Nichols writes that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water. He combines water science and neuroscience to show exactly that. He defines the “blue mind” as a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life. It is inspired by water and the sensations associated with it. “...[W]ater provides the most profound shortcut to happiness out there.”

He explores our emotional ties to water, explains the technology of brain study, contemplates what happiness is and how it is evaluated, looks at the affect of the color blue and the other sensations of water. He explores the recreational use of water and the health benefits of water, including its therapeutic use for PTSD, drug addiction and autism. He explains the Red Mind and the Gray Mind – enlightening.

Blue Mind is not a dry science book. Nichols includes lots of stories as examples of his thesis. Some of the findings are subjective and anecdotal and the stories help illustrate them.

The application of Nichols' book is broad, all the way from health benefits to urban planning. He is also concerned about the future of water and ends his book with a reminder of our emotional attachment to it and the need to make sure it is there for the future.

Now I know why there are aquariums in waiting rooms and why you should put a small one on your work desk. I know what it means if someone gives me a blue marble. I also now know the science behind why I love the water so much, especially the beaches of my island home.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I seem to be happiest when I am in the warm ocean water off ..., July 22, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
I live in Jamaica on the beach in the summer and spend a lot of time in southern California in the winter, near the ocean. I have always had a hard time articulating why I find those locales so relaxing and invigorating at the same time.

I seem to be happiest when I am in the warm ocean water off Jamaica, swimming out a couple of hundred yards to get away from the beach noise. staring at the clouds, watching the world walk down the beach.

Guess what. Now, for all those people that ask me about my love of the ocean and its impact on my mind -- I have a book for them to read.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heart in right place but disappointing, August 21, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to reading this book and paid full price to get it to take with me on a vacation -- to the beach. Unfortunately, I feel very disappointed. It's not the science that bothered me -- I'm kind of geeky and I was looking forward to enjoying the science beneath my own love for being near water. But the truth is that there is not all that much science directly related to love for water, so the author stretches out his argument to include too much boring detail about the science behind fMRIs and brain imaging in general, the science of happiness in general, etc, etc. I have read other books on the science of happiness (e.g. a good "lay" book would be "The Happiness Project") so this was not new for me and therefore not what I was looking for. His dilemma may be that there's not that much specific research relating to love of water? He tries to make up for this by throwing in some lovely quotes of poetry or brief snatches of biographies relating to water, but after awhile, this solution wears thin. It would have far been better for him to "fatten up" the book with more of people's own stories of how being near or in water had inspired or healed them. That would have held my interest and made the book seem less dry. I also thought there was a bias toward extraverts (perhaps because the author himself surfs and scuba dives) and less attention to introverts (people who seek the sea for contemplation, poets, painters, etc.). The author's genuine love for and concern for our oceans and seas does shine through, but in all, even though I was so intrigued by the concept of the book, I ended up disappointed enough at its execution that I regret having spent full price for the hardback copy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Mind Inspires Healthy Lifestyle Choices, September 1, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
Blue Mind is a book that confirms what we intuitively know, that being on, in, under, or near water can make us happier.

As a first hand account of my own Blue Mind journey, I was inspired by Dr Wallace J Nichols to begin my own 100 Days of Blue, walking on beaches on the #slowcoast every day. It has been nothing short of amazing. My health, and energy has improved. This book explains, and gives us inspiration, for improving our lifestyle choices so we are happier. Thank you! Life is GOOD. As a master perfumer, living next to the ocean has really become essential for me. Blue Mind has made me conscious about how I choose, and why. I make more choices for relaxation on a daily basis, to keep my health in the forefront, and this is thanks to an awareness gleaned from the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In 1974 I produced an underwater film entitled "Inner Visions" where I explained how the magic of undersea space creates a love, August 28, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
I am a giant fan of this BLUE MIND book. Personal experiences throughout my life have given me the feeling that water experiences work. In 1974 I produced an underwater film entitled "Inner Visions" where I explained how the magic of undersea space creates a love association with diving. It has always been that way for me and my family and circle of friends. Most of my friends are water people, and we all get a boost. In my version, the aquatic experience boosts the mind, body, intellect, spirit, and libido. Two years ago, my wife was ailing seriously, and in pain due to hamstring issues of someone who no longer has the ability to walk. She couldn't straighten her legs due to pain, and was giving up hope. We all were. We got her into aqua-therapy, and the change was immediate. No longer constricted by gravity, she was able to move around in the pool. The pain stopped after the 2nd session. She now walks unassisted in the public pool we got to weekly. Her life style and her life itself was no longer at risk. So we are true believers.Wallace J Nichols book BLUE MIND helps us understand the various "clinical" reasons why this is no accident, water heals and nurtures. Thanks so much J, Christmas has come early this year. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, August 27, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
J writes that water influences people to surface their best self – the self that is calm, creative, introspective, thoughtful, and at peace. This I already knew. But what I didn’t know was that neuro-scientists have been working with J to quantify my qualitative understanding of the ocean’s influence! I love the scientific process and so, of course, I thought that was awesome! I read J’s book as soon as I could. And you should too.

Blue Mind is a must-read for anyone who feels infinite when they are near the ocean. Sailors feel this. Artists feel this. I know this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the great part is, September 2, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
As a neuroscientist, I’m trained to read journal articles and books with a hard-nosed, fine-tooth comb, in order to poke holes in the arguments and details of scientific pieces. And even with that mindset, I can say that Nichols really delivers. Summarizing how functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) works in a little over four pages, in layperson’s terms no less, is something that most neuroscientists wouldn’t (and perhaps couldn’t) attempt. The utility of what Nichols does is that he connects the dots for us across research fields – making connections between the latest neuroscience research and recent findings in ecology, marine biology, psychology, and even ecopsychology. And the great part is, it’s not all science. Peppered throughout the book are personal stories about his own water experiences, as well as linkages to philosophy, poetry, surfing, and swimming.

The fundamental question addressed in Blue Mind, according to Nichols is: “What happens when our most complex organ – the brain – meets the planet’s largest feature – water?” Nichols more than adequately answers this question and presents his claims in a way that I don’t think any other writer or scientist could – by including something for each type of reader. If you want to read about the latest in neuroscience research, it’s in there. If you want to read about water and emotions, it’s in there. If you want to read about ocean advocacy, it’s in there. If you want to read about why you will pay more for waterfront property (and what in your brain is telling you to do so), it’s in there. If you even want to know why water is bad for some people, it’s in there too (albeit less so).

Blue Mind is the type of book with so much rich, diverse content that you could come back to it again and again and learn something new that you may have missed on the first read.

If you are interested in a more detailed review, please visit my published reviews of Blue Mind:
http://www.theinertia.com/business-media/water-makes-our-brains-smile-blue-mind-reviewed/
http://swimswam.com/why-our-brains-do-not-like-red-bottomed-swimming-pools/
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, August 23, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
I read about this book in Outside magazine, and brought it with me on an overseas trip. Glad I did, as I was found the subject matter and author to be great company on my journey. A very positive and thoughtful message. I grew up near the sea, still live near the sea, it's been a part of my life nearly everyday. This book has changed the way I look at water in this way: Until I was 30, I surfed, sometimes swam, in the ocean. I had a loose concept of what was below me. Learning to scuba dive added the next, deep dimension to my understanding of the sea. This book gives us a glimpse into yet another aspect of water's effects on all of us. Now, when I go to any body of water, I see even more. Surely there is a reason we are drawn there. I look forward to this type of research continuing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Let it heal you and make you a better, stronger version of yourself.”, August 19, 2014
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
There’s only one way to read a book that touts the benefits of water: IN the water. It took me a little longer to get through this book because I literally read the entire thing while either floating or sitting in water. (Pictured proof on my blog, including a picture of this book floating.) Why? Let’s see…

“As children we delight in water. As we grow older, water also becomes the matrix for sport, relaxation, and romance.” As the author Wallace J. Nichols points out, water enlarges the price tag of property as well as increases the anxiety level of when our waterways are threatened (oil spills, etc.) But really, we all know we love water, right? Nichols takes it deeper than that.

The author does well to express our love of the water through examples of art, literature, and pop culture. He further shows how our bodies react to water stimuli through the science of EEGs, MRIs, and fMRIs. We the readers are witness to examples of how hospitals improve recovery times, Veterans with PTSD are soothed, and how our bodies recuperate. “Even indirect exposure to water has recuperative power,” as the author writes.

Nichols continues by discussing recently favorited topics of mine: neuroplasticity, happiness, and wellness. I’m reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching about mindfully washing the dishes, “There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.” Each of these daily experiences will better your life: to notice the water running over your washing hands; to drink mindfully a cup of water; to stop and stare, appreciating any vista of water you happen across.

In the long run, why is it worthy to learn the benefits of water? Not only are we bettered personally, but we are sparked to action. We care. As the author writes, “Let it heal you and make you a better stronger version of yourself.”

Thanks to Goodreads and Little, Brown for sending me this book through their giveaway contest.

One more quote featured in Nichols’s book: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” – W.H. Auden
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