I always wondered why I love to visit waterfalls and the ocean, realizing that these places always made me feel better. And I always feel nervous and out-of-sorts during off-shore flows and the Santa Anas, which blow in Southern California in late summer and fall. I finally found an explanation for this phenomenon.

Negative ions are released at waterfalls, oceans, and in forests. Water and plants create over 50% of the negative ions produced naturally on Earth. Most outdoor places contain 1,200 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. At Yosemite Falls, there are over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. A large number of negative ions in the air:

  • stimulates the alpha brain waves
  • increases serotonin levels
  • delivers oxygen to the body’s cells
  • creates elation and calming feelings
  • expands awareness
  • accelerates healing
  • reduces stress and depression

Winds can contain a high percentage of positive ions. A large number of positive ions in the air:

  • causes depression, tiredness, tension, and irritability
  • causes migraines, nausea, and difficulty in breathing
  • increases hospital admissions, suicides, and crime

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