Dr Catherine Kelly has worked as a geography academic and wellbeing practitioner for many years. She has taught in several universities during the course of her career, including the University of Greenwich, University of Brighton, Sussex University and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. She has a second degree in stress management, and professional diplomas in mindfulness training.
Today, she is the director of CoreJourneys and ChillSquad, her wellbeing organisations, and of WildBlue School, Brighton, a coastal education and wellbeing project. Dr Kelly is also a board member of the UNESCO Biosphere (Brighton Hove Lewes Downs partnership), which promotes all aspects of sustainable development, learning and living. She is passionate about the sea, learning, nature and helping both adults and children to enjoy, explore and relax outdoors in all types of bluespace. She lives in Brighton and is the mother of two adventurous young boys.
Why do so many of us feel drawn to water? Researchers around the globe are increasingly intrigued by our psychological response to blue space: oceans, rivers, lakes, canals and waterfalls. Research is showing that they are good for us, inducing a positive mood and reducing negative feelings. Many people naturally gravitate towards the nearest blue space for their regular walks. There is an innate soothing quality that water brings, whether it's crashing waves, the gentle lapping beat of the water's edge or the reflections we see... Water brings on a meditative, 'blue mind' state. Dr Catherine Kelly uses the study of Blue Mind, a term coined by Dr Wallace Nichols, which explores the study of water and why it makes us happy, to explore and understand the importance of blue space (water environments) and their therapeutic benefits. Looking at the most up-to-date research and evidence that supports its importance for our wellbeing, she suggests how we can all integrate blue mind practices into our lives, providing examples and exercises that anyone can use to enhance their mental health. *** You can hear Catherine Kelly explore our emotional connection to water and the therapeutic benefits of cold water swimming at A Day at the Riverside, 18th September.