By Nolan Hasting
In today's world, it's easy to get consumed by our smartphones and constantly seek out
instant gratification from online engagements. I sometimes find myself checking notifications, scrolling through feeds, and falling into the endless void of social media, but there is one activity that helps me break free from this digital frenzy and reconnect with the present moment time and time again–surfing. Checking the waves, scoring with friends, and spending time at the beach provides me with a mental reset, which helps me disconnect from the disingenuous online world.
As I paddle out to start a session, it’s hard not to be fully absorbed in the present. Surfing demands my complete concentration and forces me to let go of unnecessary distractions and worries. With nothing else holding me back, I am able to appreciate the moment in the water and truly connect with the ocean.
Surfing is a full-body workout, benefitting me both mentally and physically. Some days are harder than others and battling the wind and currents can make it a very physically demanding activity. Regardless of how a session goes, I still constantly find myself clearing my mind and in a better headspace after a session in the water. It is a major relief of stress.
Although it may appear to be, surfing is not just an individual sport, it's a community driven activity that
allows you to connect with so many other like-minded individuals. The lineup at popular surf spots becomes a gathering place, where surfers of all ages can come together to share their love of the ocean. Engaging with my friends and local surfers creates a unique opportunity to disconnect from our digital social networks and have genuine experiences with real people. Conversations on the beach, sharing stories about great waves, and encouraging each other in the water provides such a wholesome community that could never be replicated online.
Spending so much time at the beach has allowed me to develop a deep
appreciation for the environment and ocean we frequent. Furthermore, my connection with nature inspires me to take action to protect it. Although many may frequently collect trash on the beach, I often find litter in the surf zone and work to #UNLITTER the debris that may drift out to sea. I have become an advocate for coastal sustainability, working to kindly educate tourists about how to preserve coastal areas and be more mindful of the sensitive ecosystem.
Overall, surfing is a natural digital detox that enhances our mental well being, fosters a sense of community, and naturally encourages passion for protecting our environment. Next time you find yourself at the beach, put some distance between yourself and your phone by grabbing a board and paddling out to disconnect with the online world and reconnect with nature. #UNLITTERYOURMIND
All Images ©Nolan Hasting