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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 Reprint Edition
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"Blue Mind" is a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water. Nichols examines seas and oceans, lakes and rivers, even swimming pools and the contents of our bathtubs in a study that is both highly readable and rooted in real research. Nichols draws on science and art, hard data and anecdote, and plenty of experience, to explain our blue mind in detail.
--Washington Post Book review by Nicola Joyce
"A visionary." ---Outside
"Nichols's message is a critical and compelling one." ---David Bennett, Green Team Operations & Innovations, Google
"If your time on our planet needs less stress and more happiness, find your way to Nichols's Blue Mind for the surprisingly simple and joyous ways water can change your life."―Timothy Dykman, Ocean Revolution
"Nichols insists on a more experiential brand of activism, encouraging individuals to encounter the oceans directly, in order to build personal and emotional connections-to get their feet wet."―GQ Magazine
From the Author
I wish you water. ---J. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
A recurring theme by the negative reviews here is a general feeling of disappointment in "its thin science". One of the truisms of emerging science throughout human history has been the necessary progression from no data or publicly available data collected for other research purposes to generating data of your own via the generation and testing of a specific theoretical claim like "People perform tasks requiring keen concentration better when near, on, in, or under the water than when performed without a nearby body of water".
What "J" has done is assemble a remarkable array of data collected across a variety of disciplines that all seem to converge in the as yet unanswered question "What is it about water that affects all humans, all animals on earth for that matter, so positively in so many cognitively active dimensions?" It is less a piece about direct scientific testing than it is a call to scientists to undertake direct testing of this question via the formation of original theories about the affects of water on human cognitive processing.
At #ReadWare and #heur-e-ka we are actively working to prove semiotic-semantic similarity between the emotional portent of sound that human cognitive processing factors into expressing "how we feel" when residing in specific physical environments in which those feelings are generated. Proximity to water has long been associated by humanity with feelings of balance, peace, and emotional and intellectual clarity. And I know other #BlueMind cohorts of mine, like Dr. Amir Vokshoor, Founder and President at the Institute of Neuro Innovation and neurospinal surgeon at St.John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, are doing likewise within their own scientific specialities
#BlueMind is J's compelling call to the scientific community to take up this research effort in the field, the lab, and even simulated sandboxes of computational models. Those who consider #BlueMind's "science" as "too thin" simply must realize that the first work in any emerging field tends, by its very nature as an initiating innovator, to look for evidence in the qualitative realm before it can do so quantitively. In that regard, "J" and #BlueMind have accomplished that goal in spades.
I urge any scientist reading #BlueMind who thinks "the science is thin" to consider pitching in to help "thicken the science of #BlueMind". There is no other way than directed research in the field to accomplish this, and no once better placed to do so than today's well-trained leaders in human cognitive mechanics.
The very #BlueMarbleInSpace that gave us life, and continues to do so every day, needs us to act on its behalf now more than ever!
Full Disclosure: I recently interviewed 'J' for our Inspire Nation Show.
I love this book, and I can't get enough of it! I admit, I'm a water-aholic. I learned to swim before I could walk. I've always take the opportunity to jump into the water...even in the cold. And I've always loved to ride my bike, run, walk, or drive near the water, I can't get enough of it. And now I understand why. This book is a powerful treatise to understand our connection with this magical blue stuff....it makes up the water, it makes up the sky, and it makes up us...we're over 70% water ourselves, the same exact makeup of the ocean.
This is one beautiful book, and the work 'J' has done to bring water to our minds, and to help save the sea-turtles, is beyond commendable. I cannot recommend this book enough; except when given a choice between reading and heading to the water...put down the book, and head for the water...you'll thank yourself for it!
Emily H. Young, Ph.D.
Vice President of Programs
The San Diego Foundation