Welcome to our Seashell blog posts where we dive into the stories of the Seashell people.
We hope to use this space and platform to inspire others and to start important conversations.
Today we are going to have a look at how wild swimming has helped me discover who I am and helped me with my mental and physical health.
In a world that often feels overwhelming, the journey to finding solace and peace can take unexpected turns. For me, that journey led me to the embrace of nature's therapeutic embrace: wild swimming. What started as a simple hobby quickly transformed into a lifeline, pulling me out of the depths of anxiety and teaching me invaluable lessons about resilience, adaptability, and mental well-being. In this blog, I'll share my personal experience of how wild swimming became a transformative force in my life, shaping not only my relationship with the water but also my ability to navigate the challenges of everyday life.
The Depths of Anxiety.
Anxiety has a way of hijacking your life, weaving its tendrils into every thought and action. For years, I battled with the relentless grip of anxious thoughts, often feeling like I was trapped in a never-ending cycle of worry and fear. Without realising, wild swimming became something that would reconnect me with the world around me and bring back a sense of calm.
Diving into the Unknown.
Outdoor activities often require adaptability and quick thinking. Whether it's navigating through a dense forest, setting up camp, or dealing with changing weather conditions, outdoor challenges demand us to think on our feet. These experiences cultivate problem-solving skills that can be applied to various aspects of life.
I had done many open water swims as part of triathlons but never a remote loch swim. Gazing at the crystal-clear loch surrounded by the mountainside, I felt an inexplicable pull to immerse myself in its waters. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I waded in, letting the cold water envelop me. At that moment, as I swam amidst the tranquillity of nature, something shifted within me. I noticed how the colour of the water became black and ominous. At this moment I started to have an anxiety attack. It was the fear of the unknown. What was beneath me? Were there monsters under there? Would I make it to the other side? Would we survive?
Although it felt like the world was crashing down and that I wasn't going to make it, it turned out to be a pivotal time in my life.
After a very distressing time thinking that I wouldn't make it back, I did! This experience allowed me to see myself in a different light and have a different and more active approach to tackling challenges no matter how big or small. That if I could get through that experience then I could get through anything. It was now a question of giving myself time and space to push my boundaries mentally and physically to build resilience in a healthy and manageable way.
The Therapeutic Power of Nature.
Wild swimming isn't just about plunging into cold waters; it's a profound connection with nature that goes beyond the physical. The sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural world have an incredible ability to soothe the mind and temper anxiety. The rhythmic lapping of water, the gentle rustling of leaves, and the expansive beauty of the surroundings create a sensory symphony that drowns out the noise of worries. In the water, I found a sanctuary – a place where my anxious thoughts used to hold me captive but now hold no power.
Lessons from the Water: Resilience and Adaptability.
As I continued my wild swimming journey, I began to notice a remarkable shift in my ability to handle challenges. The water taught me the importance of resilience and adaptability, qualities that proved invaluable in both the swimming experience and my day-to-day life. In the water, I learned to navigate changing currents and temperatures, finding a way to stay afloat no matter the conditions. Translating this to my life, I realized that just as I could adapt to the water's unpredictability, I could also adapt to the uncertainties that life presented.
The Ripple Effect: Mental Health Beyond the Water.
The newfound strength and perspective I gained from wild swimming didn't confine themselves to the waters; they began to ripple through every aspect of my life. I found myself approaching challenges with a newfound courage, drawing on the resilience I had honed in the water. Social interactions, work-related stresses, and personal setbacks no longer felt insurmountable; I had developed a mental toolkit that empowered me to face them head-on.
6. Building a Supportive Community.
Wild swimming also introduced me to a vibrant and supportive community. I connected with individuals who, like me, had found solace in the water. Sharing stories, tips, and laughter, we formed bonds that extended beyond our shared passion. This sense of belonging added an essential layer to my mental well-being, reminding me that I wasn't alone in my journey.
Wild swimming, an unexpected twist in my life's narrative, became the beacon of light that guided me out of the darkness of anxiety. Through the water's embrace, I learned to build resilience, adaptability, and a deeper connection with nature. The lessons I gained from the water have proven to be invaluable tools that continue to support me in my ongoing battle with anxiety. My wild swimming journey serves as a reminder that sometimes, the most profound transformations can arise from the simplest of pleasures – and that nature, in all its beauty, has the power to heal even the most wounded souls.
Come and join us!
Join us every Saturday at 10am at the Fittie end of Aberdeen beach for invigorating dips in the sea. The refreshing waters will not only revitalize your body but also uplift your spirits, offering a perfect blend of mental clarity and physical well-being.
We also put on other events during the year so head over to our facebook page and follow our events page to keep up to date with what is coming up near you.
The ultimate guide to unlocking the full potential of one of nature's most powerful resources.
Cold water has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to promote health, vitality, and well-being, and its benefits are backed by science.
Whether you're a seasoned cold water enthusiast or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to harness the power of cold water and take your health and wellness to the next level.