By Neenah Payne
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.
Did you know that over 75% to 90% of all doctors’ visits are for health problems related to Red Mind? (Download the free 27-page ebook Do You Have Red Mind?)
Wallace Nichols Ph.D., called “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and “a visionary” by Outside Magazine is an entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, voracious idea explorer, New York Times best-selling author, international speaker, loving Dad, strategic advisor, and collaborator.
Dr. Nichols’ experiences as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and non-profit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger and more diverse Blue Movement to inspire a deeper connection with nature through the neuroscience of the human-water connection.
Dr. Nichols’ current focus is on what he refers to as Blue Mind, a powerful new universal story of water and a movement of global proportions. He communicates the cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual benefits of healthy oceans and waterways. By connecting neuroscientists and psychologists with aquatic experts and artists, his work is transforming many sectors, including water and food infrastructure; environment and conservation; technology and innovation; health and well-being; education and parenting; arts, architecture and design; real estate and planning; travel and tourism; as well as sports and recreation.
Dr. Nichols has authored more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters, and popular publications; delivered over 300 presentations in more than 30 countries; and reached millions in print, web, radio, podcast, film and television media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among others.
His book Blue Mind: How Water Makes You Happier, More Connected and Better at What You Do quickly became a national bestseller, has been translated to over a dozen languages, and has inspired a wave of media attention and practical applications.
Now you can register for the Free 7-day Blue Mind docuseries at: https://bluemindhealth.com. See the trailer below:
See the interview with Dr. Nichols below:
Blue Mind Health Series: May 23-26
Each episode airs for 24 hours.
Episode 1: Blue Mind Health: Water Is Medicine – May 23 at 12 AM EST — Nichols shows the remarkable human connection to water and the tremendous physiological, emotional, and mental changes that occur when you’re in, on, or around water. Blue Mind can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do.
Episode 2: Blue Mind: A Deep Dive – May 23 at 12 AM EST — Discover the incredible origins of the Blue Mind concept that has already changed lives and brought millions together in a common pursuit of #waterismedicine!
Episode 3: Get Your Blue Mind On: Blue Mind 101 – May 24 at 12 AM EST — Everything you need to know to achieve and apply Blue Mind in your own life right now! You don’t want to miss this incredible conversation with Dr. Nichols!
Episode 4: A Healing Voyage – May 25 at 12 AM EST — Meet the amazing Special Operations combat veterans who were inspired to transform the health of our planet’s marine resources and use the power of water to heal their minds and bodies as they heal the environment.
Episode 5: A Healing Voyage – The Force Blue Team: Mission Therapy– May 25 at 12 AM EST — You loved the team in “A Healing Voyage”. Discover how Force Blue provides “mission therapy,” for these special men and women by retraining them from combat fighters to our ocean protectors. You won’t be able to get enough of the Force Blue Team!
Episode 6: Blue: 7 Ages of Water – May 26 at 12 AM EST — Discover how water directly influences every stage of your life from birth to death and how you can harness that natural power for better mental, emotional, and physical health right now!
Episode 7: A Flowed State of Calm: Depression and Blue Mind– May 26 at 12 AM EST — The depression epidemic is rocking the world and impacting the quality of life of millions every day. Find out how Blue Mind can help ease the symptoms, manage the disease, and give you back control of your life.
Through a deep and effervescent experience complimented by an e.e. cummings poem, Dr. Wallace Nichols inspires us to engage in a deeper relationship with nature. Using our oceans as the prime example of how insignificant humans can feel while also being unmistakably connected to the spirit of nature, Nichols urges us to embrace our natural surroundings to live robust and full lives.
Dr. Nichols defines “Blue Mind” as “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water, from the color blue to the words we use to describe the sensations associated with immersion.”
He knows that inspiration comes sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking — other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he also knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves.
Force Blue Team’s Life-Saving Mission
The Force Blue Team is featured in the visually stunning and inspiring Episode 4 and Episode 5 of the Blue Mind Health docuseries. This will change everything you think you know about our mental well-being and how we take care of our lifeline: the ocean.
FORCE BLUE grew out of a dive trip Jim Ritterhoff and Rudy Reyes took to the Cayman Islands. In the summer of 2015, they traveled to meet their friend Keith Sahm, General Manager of Sunset House which is the oldest continuously-operated dive resort in the Caribbean. For Ritterhoff and Sahm, experienced recreational divers who’d been reef diving for decades, this was just another week in paradise.
However, for Reyes, a former Recon Marine who had struggled with post-traumatic stress and depression since returning from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the experience was nothing short of life changing! “Here’s this trained combat diver,” Ritterhoff remembers. “One of the best, most highly-skilled individuals you’ll ever encounter underwater. Yet, he’d never seen a fish.” For Reyes, like most dive-trained veterans, diving meant hauling 200 lbs. of gear underwater to destroy potentially dangerous targets in the dead of night. What Cayman offered was transformative.
Reyes immediately proposed another trip so he could bring his recon brothers to experience what he had. However, after a few hours of discussion, the three men hatched a larger plan that included combat divers from all branches of service with marine scientists, conservationists, and journalists. “We saw it as an opportunity to do some good not only for our veterans, but for the planet as well. By starting a program that helps veterans and the marine environment, we’re uniting two worlds,” says Ritterhoff.
FORCE BLUE MISSION: To unite the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine conservation for the betterment of both. To sum it up: “We are so connected to water. If people don’t care about what they’re putting into the ocean, it’s crazy. It’s unsustainable. Every conservationist works hard to bring this to light. Unless you’re seeing it every day, you don’t fully appreciate how our actions have a consequence. We have to act as a team. We have to work locally, regionally, and globally if we’re going to have a positive effect. There really is no excuse anymore.”
Force Blue Saving Florida’s Coral Reefs!
Importance of coral reefs explains why coral reefs are SO vital – and are under SUCH great threat.
This video from the Force Blue Team website shows that the team is working to save Florida’s coral reefs from the disease that began about four years ago. With the help of the Force Blue Team, Florida may be able to save 2,000 corals instead of just 20 or 200. The reefs add over $7 billion to the state’s economy!
Unfortunately 27% of coral reefs are gone and this number could rise to 60% in the next 30 years. Force Blue says its mission is to change that outcome. The rescue is an urgent task that requires innovation and collaboration between scientists and veterans that has never been seen before.
Sarah Frangman, the Superintendent of the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary says she would like Florida to become a model. She believes that the rescue of the Florida coral reefs can be an example of the kind of teamwork that can be used to save coral reefs elsewhere since this is a global problem.
Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Ocean
Force Blue is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) initiative that unites the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of coral reef conservation for the betterment of both. FORCE BLUE gives former combat divers and SOF veterans the chance to experience and explore one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet and to adapt their training and teamwork to aid in its protection.
Force Blue’s mission is vital for the planet.
The Smithsonian Institution’s Corals and Coral Reefs site points out:
Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic when you consider that reefs cover just a tiny fraction (less than one percent) of the earth’s surface and less than two percent of the ocean bottom. Because they are so diverse, coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea.
Coral reefs are also very important to people. The value of coral reefs has been estimated at 30 billion U.S. dollars and perhaps as much as 172 billion U.S. dollars each year, providing food, protection of shorelines, jobs based on tourism, and even medicines. Unfortunately, people also pose the greatest threat to coral reefs. Overfishing and destructive fishing, pollution, warming, changing ocean chemistry, and invasive species are all taking a huge toll. In some places, reefs have been entirely destroyed, and in many places reefs today are a pale shadow of what they once were.
This CBS News video featuring Force Blue can be seen below:
Film: Mercy, Love, and Grace: The Story of Force Blue
Mercy, Love and Grace: The Story of Force Blue chronicles the nonprofit’s first deployment to the Cayman Islands. It is the story of seven (7) Special Operations combat veterans…two U.S. Reconnaissance Marines, one Air Force Pararescueman, a Navy SEAL, an Army Green Beret, a British Royal Marine and one Combat Medic….each struggling with his own transition back to civilian life, coming together on a mission to preserve the planet and restore themselves.
It is the story of the marine scientists, environmentalists, therapists, and filmmakers who came to instruct them for two weeks, but left having learned their own lessons about sacrifice and service. In the end, Mercy, Love and Grace: The Story of Force Blue is the story of passionate people healing across the divide – and the magic that can still be conjured, even in these partisan times, when we are willing to become one team with one fight.
The moving trailer can be seen below:
Blue Mind: Blue Marble: Our Water World
Dr. Nichols’ research and expeditions have taken him to coasts and waterways across North, Central, and South America, to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe where he continually finds that the emotional connection to waters of all kinds – rather than force or financial gain – is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet.
In each of his talks, Dr. Nichols makes sure that every member of the audience receives a blue marble. At the end of the Organixx podcast, he explained that if the interview had been in person, he would have given each of the interviewers a blue marble.
It is a way to remind people that we live on a big blue marble and that our own health is intimately connected with the health of the oceans, rivers, lakes, bays, creeks, streams – as well as our tap water on which we depend every day for cleaning, flushing, bathing, drinking, and cooking. Our daily lives are TOTALLY dependent on our access to clean water!
Dr. Nichols points out that the waters of the world not only support us physically, but are key to our emotional and mental health – to our Blue Mind.