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Here’s why living on the Grand Strand actually makes us happier and healthier

Life truly is better here at the beach.

It’s not just a phrase for those of us who live along the Grand Strand — scientists have actually proven it.

“Research has shown that being near, in, on or under water can provide a long list of benefits for our mind and body, including lowering stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts,” Marine Biologist Wallace J. Nichols said in an interview with USA Today.

In Nichols’ best-selling book 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, he uses scientific evidence to explain how being close to bodies of water promotes mental health and happiness.

“The term “blue mind” describes the mildly meditative state we fall into when near, in, on or under water,” Nichols said. “It’s the antidote to what we refer to as “red mind,” which is the anxious, over-connected and over-stimulated state that defines the new normal of modern life. Research has proven that spending time near the water is essential to achieving an elevated and sustained happiness.”

That may explain why so many people choose to vacation in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.

The Travel Channel listed Myrtle Beach as one of the top 10 beaches in America, and Thrillist Travel listed it as one of the best beach cities in the nation as well.

“We’ve found that being near water boosts creativity, can enhance the quality of conversations and provides a backdrop to important parts of living — like play, romance and grieving,” Nichols told USA Today. “All of this depends on these waters being safe, clean and healthy, of course.”

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles