It’s time to put positive mental health first and get ready to Live Unfiltered. Over 50% of individuals have been or will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder in their lifetime, and that doesn’t even take into account those going undiagnosed. This is the harsh reality of the filtered world we’re living in. The world where we are always switched on, being constantly surrounded by highlight reels leads to poor mental health and unhealthy behaviors.
A solution? Live Unfiltered! Break free from our strong attachments to the world that never stops. To Live Unfiltered is to immerse yourself in unfiltered environments, like the underwater world. This, in turn, promotes positive mental health!
If you’re a scuba veteran, you’ll know how diving trips can improve your mental health. Or as a newbie, you might not yet have experienced that feeling. Not only is diving and exploring the unfiltered underwater world joyous, it also can significantly improve your mood, your stress levels and your anxiety.
A 2016 study carried out by the University of Sheffield’s Medical School displayed a significant improvement in the mental health and well-being of military veterans who completed the PADI Deptherapy program. This included those who suffered physical injuries as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Individuals that took part in diving in the study highlighted reduced insomnia, anxiety levels, and depression.
Diving Improves Mental Health by Improving Your Physical State
It’s safe to say that individuals taking part in diving must be in good physical health (as you’ll notice when completing Medical Liability forms before diving). Additionally, many divers notice that the more they improve their physical health, the better and easier diving feels – think ease of breathing, strength to carry kit, and great stamina for multiple dives a day!
Not only do you need to be in good physical health to dive, but diving itself can help to improve your physical fitness levels, too! Diving can help to lower blood pressure and increase flexibility. While physical health and mental health may seem like two different realms, poor physical health is likely to exarcerbate psychiatric symptoms (such as anxiety and depression). Therefore, in improving physical health by diving and with regular immersions, you’ll improve your mental health, too.
Certifications Increase Confidence
Many of us already know that when we achieve something, the way we feel about ourselves generally improves. A sense of accomplishment often makes people feel successful, content, and even elated. A great example of achievement is achieving your PADI certifications; whether that be your Open Water Course or your Divemaster or beyond!
In turn, your newfound increased self-confidence is likely to help improve your mental state.
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It’s a Form of Meditation
If you’re a diver already, it may sound like a broken record to hear the most important rule of scuba diving yet again: never hold your breath. Not only is this important for your safety, but the frequency of your breaths can also affect how you dive. Long slow deep breaths in and out provide optimal air consumption and greater relaxation underwater. How does this relate to improving your mental health? Focusing on your breath is a key component of meditation and mindfulness.
Furthermore, meditation and mindfulness are effective ways to combat poor mental health. Mindfulness has been shown to be an effective remedy against psychological distress which can improve your mental health. The peaceful, zen-like feeling divers experience when surfacing is much like that felt after a session of meditation or breath work.
Connecting with a Worldwide Community
Having a lack of community that you are able to connect with can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation. Unfortunately, this can be linked to psychiatric disorders like depression.
As a dive is a two-person, or sometimes multiple-person, event you will always have to connect with at least one other individual in order to dive. Not to mention courses are often done in groups, too! It’s a familiar story for those taking diving courses together – and instructors – to bond and stay in touch. Diving can help to create your own small-scale community of local divers or dive buddies you meet up with abroad. Plus, being a PADI diver enables you to become a part of the PADI Torchbearer community and an advocate for the ocean.
Connecting with like-minded individuals in an unfiltered, real-life environment is an excellent way to boost morale and inject adventure into your life!
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Ready to Feel Better?
It’s clear that scuba diving can improve your mental health quite significantly, particularly due to its ability to help you Live Unfiltered. The sense of camaraderie, combined with positive achievements and meditative inner work, make scuba diving quite magical for the human body and mind.
If you’re a newbie, you’ll be happy to know that you can start learning to scuba dive right now online. Alternatively, if you are craving an immersion now, the PADI Travel team are on hand 24/7 to help you find your next perfect scuba diving adventure!