Mental health trainer's research discovers five reasons behind sea swimming's mental health benefits
A mental health trainer has said that there are ‘life changing’ benefits behind seaside swimming at Seaham after carrying out a study for mental health awareness week.
Jase Smith 51 from Seaham claims that swimming off the County Durham coast can help achieve ‘mindfulness’ and improves mental health after conducting a study.
The mental health trainer, who was in the military for 35 years, runs a mental health training business Zero78training.
Jase first tried sea swimming in December last year after some research into the effects of cold water immersion and mental health led to a conversation with an old friend who is a frequent ‘dipper’ who suggested he tried it out.
The 51-year-old said: “There are so many benefits to sea swimming that people don’t realise and many are apprehensive at first but mindfulness is a by-product of swimming in the North sea.”
Jase’s research model summarises five key things which help people manage good mental health and wellbeing and how sea swimming offers those things.
The five things are; connection, giving, being active, recognising and learning.
The mental health trainer says swimming in groups provides connection as friendly members help people feel part of something and give support to others.
Christine Wiseman, 47, a founder of the the Seaham Sea Swimming group said: “We set up the Facebook page with six of us so we could arrange to go and swim together and it’s grown massively since and now it’s a nice little family and a lovely environment – sea swimming changes your mental attitude, people are always laughing.”
Georgina Fuller, 48, a swimmer who supplies the clothing line for the group added: “Swimming at Seaham is like a sanctuary and the buzz people get here is fantastic – I’ve suffered from severe anxiety and when I throw myself in the sea you forget about everything.”
Mental health trainer Jase says sea swimming as being active, the exercise can help to prevent or reduce stress and anxiety.
He adds that sea swimming can also encourage people to focus on recognising the present, rather than worries in the past.
The ex Royal Engineer added: “Swimming allows us to learn we can overcome challenges and embrace them to grow in confidence and improve our self-esteem.
"The Seaham Seaside Swimmers group has not only brought people together and invigorated a little gem of a beach on the North East coast but it is silently improving the mental and physical health and wellbeing of everyone involved.”
Jase is actively looking for organisations and businesses across the North East to work with to improve the mental health and well being of their members and employees – he can be contacted via [email protected]