By Mary Kay Seales
According to the Nice Convention Bureau website, Nice is the number one tourist destination in France after Paris, with approximately 5 million visitors each year.
And for 17 years, I have been one of them.
And my observation of the masses that sit on the many beaches of the French Riviera in the intense summer sun is that each and every one of them is, at least momentarily, happy. From merely completely content to the joyful laughter of the children bouncing around in the waves, screaming in delight, EVERYONE is experiencing a moment of unadulterated pleasure.
Is this the magic pill, the recipe, for happiness? Sun, warmth, sparkling blue waters, the sound of the waves, the feel of the salt water cleansing every pore and holding you afloat?
I look at these people from every continent, speaking a hundred different languages, young, old, fat, thin, wrinkled, lithe, loaded or not, and where is the unhappy one? Perhaps, just one of these thousands is just a bit depressed, has a worried brow, a sad gaze?
It seems they are ALL happy.
Recent articles point to the evidence of this magic combination as it relates to human contentment. Consider these statistics:
- Hawaii was rated, again for the sixth time, as the number one “happiest” state by a recent Gallup Poll 2017.
- According to a New York Times article “True Blue Stands Out in an Earthly Crowd, “a raft of surveys has shown, blue love is a global affair. Ask people their favorite color, and in most parts of the world roughly half will say blue, a figure three to four times the support accorded common second-place finishers like purple or green. Just one in six Americans is blue-eyed, but nearly one in two consider blue the prettiest eye color, which could be why some 50 percent of tinted contact lenses sold are the kind that make your brown eyes blue.”
- Researchers in Iceland, whose winters are among the most harsh on the planet, but whose country ranks in the top three for “happiest countries,” believe that the geothermal pools are a big reason why. “At this point, it is considered more or less a civil right to have one (of these pools) within walking distance of your home,”
- A 2016 study by researchers from New Zealand and the U.S. concluded “that just living within sight of water was linked to lower levels of psychological stress, even after accounting for income levels, which are often correlated with health outcomes.”
- The 2017 Global Livability Report published by the Economist ranked Melbourne, Australia as the number one city in the world.
Blue, Heat, Water – an anti depressive that we can’t seem to bottle, but we can see that it works. Why aren’t these factors incorporated somehow in therapy sessions? In treatment options?
Not everyone has the resources to land on the Côte d’Azur every summer for yearly therapy, unfortunately, but finding your blue, your water, and your heat may be a formula for finding peace in a busy day. Change the lighting in your bathroom and buy some beautiful blue towels; fill up the tub with steaming hot water and play a recording of waves crashing on your iPhone.
In the meantime, save your money for a summer vacation by a beautiful blue sea.
The Beginner’s Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing