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If everything that has transpired since March 2020 has left you feeling stressed and drained, you’ll be happy to know summer offers a perfect antidote: blue mind.

No, it’s not the craze that hits Bronco Nation each fall as we head into football season. Blue mind is a term – coined in a book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols – for the mildly meditative, relaxed and generally happy state of mind we experience when on or near bodies of water. 

Research shows that being near, in or on water can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, lower heart rates, and provide a general sense of well-being. And the best thing about blue mind is that any water works – oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and even backyard water features.

Even better news: it’s not just water that provides these rejuvenating effects. Boise State researchers studied the effects of hiking the trails behind Boise’s Camel’s Back Park. They found that hiking – especially near areas with trees and water – lowered levels of stress hormones in the hikers they studied.

If you’re in Boise, take a stroll on the Greenbelt and enjoy some Boise River blue mind. Or visit the trails behind Camel’s Back Park. Wherever you spend your summer, take some time to decompress and rejuvenate with water.