General |  14 March 2019 |

Surf's Up! How ocean therapy can help you de-stress

You’ve heard that yoga and running are good for your mental health … but surfing? The exhilaration of learning to catch your first wave might just be the perfect way to chill out.


Meet surf therapy: cleverly combining the restorative power of the ocean with the thrill of surfing to help people escape the stresses of daily life.

We’ve been finding out more about how surf retreats and ocean therapy can help you find your inner zen. Here are just a few reasons to dip a toe in the world of surfing!

For the WOW-ness of nature

As soon as you feel the sugary sand crumbling between your toes, salt water nipping your eyes, you’ll feel at one with nature. The vastness of the sea around you puts your worries into perspective, so you can leave your troubles back on dry land while you bliss out on your board.

For the thrill

Lying in the sun with your feet dangling into still waters is one thing, but there’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of paddling furiously out through the whitewater and jumping to your board to catch your first wave. 

For getting in the zone

Ok, so surfing’s not exactly easy, but standing for the first time makes the occasional wipe out totally worth it. You have to focus on the present, and that means forgetting about everything else. From the sound of the waves crashing around you, to the weightlessness of floating and the glorious salty, seaweedy smells, swimming in the sea is a full blown sensory experience. It gets you out of your own head, and into the zone.

For the surf buddies

It might just be you and your board against the sea, but surfing brings a real sense of community spirit. Facing the elements together may be a fantastic way to make some new friends (not to mention wetsuit zipper-uppers and surf wax-lenders!).

For a happy body and mind

Surfing is obviously a great way to keep physically fit – it’s a full-on cardio and strength workout. It can also help reduce anxiety and stress, and boost confidence at the same time. Another surprising benefit is that it’s so tiring, it could make it easier to fall asleep at night!

So if you want to give surfing a go, dig out that surf wax and head down to your local club. If the big blue gym is a little too far to go, try experiencing the joys of wild swimming instead (here are 7 of our favourite spots). But remember, always check the local safety advice before you get your gear on!

After all that paddling, you’ll be looking for a nourishing meal to replenish your tired muscles – find some inspiration with one of our recipes, made with Pura liquid coconut oil. 
Psychology Today. ‘Surf therapy’ and being in the ocean can alleviate PTSD.  
The Independent. Surfing could help tackle PTSD, depression and sleep problems, study finds.