2020 has been a year for the record books. It’s during these times of hardship and social isolation, and your mental health can suffer. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Americans are reporting higher levels of anxiety, emotional distress, and depression symptoms. Fear and worry about family, friends, school, and a person’s livelihood can have an enormous impact on our stress levels, leaving many adults and children feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty. Our SeaQuest family is no exception, as we have also struggled with concern over our staff’s safety and health and, more importantly, our animals. But we realize just how unique the human/animal bond is. And we are more than happy that visiting SeaQuest can bring a smile to any guest or visitor that walks through the door!
Humans are fixated by water. It’s our DNA, literally. The earth is made up of 70 percent water! It sustains the human body, animals, and crops that feed us. Studies have found that individuals are more relaxed and calm when in the presence of water. It’s known to stimulate the same senses that occur when in the presence of green lushness and nature outdoors. It develops a sense of peace in people.
Perhaps it’s the calm blue waters filled with vibrant coral reefs that produce serenity. Or maybe it’s the freshwater sea creatures that welcome you from corner to corner. Whatever it may be, animals, and more specifically aquariums, alleviate stress.
The life of exotic creatures and marine life has spiked an interest in people, and specifically children! During times of high stress, engaging with animals is proven to be very therapeutic. Think about your last visit to a doctor or dentist’s office. There always seems to be a tank filled with colorful fish and waving seaweed. It’s there for a reason and not just decoration. According to a study on the environment and behavior, fish in environments that can trigger anxiety (teeth drilled!) can decrease anxiety and reduce stress—fish therapy. While watching aquariums, individuals’ blood pressure and heart rates tend to lower.
An Animal Connection
When humans feel anxious, it means we are probably overwhelmed with thoughts too heavy for the brain to process. Everyone experiences anxiety differently but are ways to cope and mitigate worries and fears in a healthy manner. As we have learned more and more, science continues to prove how beneficial it is for humans to interact with animals.
By surrounding yourself in nature or an underwater adventure escape, you are engaging in self-help! It’s a chance to let go of negative thoughts and to bring yourself in tune with the present that surrounds you. When you come nose to nose with an otter, pet a sloth, or swim with the stingrays, you will instantly see and feel how therapeutic it really is!
Zoos and Aquariums have been proven to be good for your mental health and well-being. But, if aquariums or fish therapy doesn’t speak to you – don’t worry! At attractions like SeaQuest, we are more than just an interactive aquarium. With 1200 animals and 300 different species, you are bound to find a connection with one of our furry, scaly, or feathery friends!
Learn more about SeaQuest, our Animal,s and VIP Specials when you sign up here!