By Oleta Forde
There is truly nothing more relaxing than watching fish swim around a tank. There are many ways you can reach a state of true happiness. Spending time in aquariums is just one of them and has been proved to increase people’s physical and mental wellbeing. So just by visiting the National Marine Aquarium you could increase your health and leave feeling more relaxed.
Working front of house at the National Marine Aquarium we get to spend a lot of time with some of the amazing animals you can find in the oceans. These animals have fantastic personalities and quirks that we start to notice after we spend time watching them. For instance, we have Cooper the Humphead Wrasse in our Great Barrier Reef exhibit who just loves your attention. If you spend a good five minutes up near the glass he will come over and have a good look at you and then start to perform twirls and spins showing off his beautiful colours to you. After some time, Cooper will follow you around and will move to where your hands are as if it’s a game. And this is something not everyone gets to experience as visitors often rush through the exhibits in search of a specific animal.
My advice to you is to really take your time to sit and watch the tank, watch all of the animals, see how they all move and work together. Maybe after a moment or two focus in on one particular animal, watch how they move their fins, look to see how they breathe, see how they interact with other animals. The longer you spend observing the more you can learn about these wonderful creatures. Be sure to have a good look in every tank, even the little ones which may contain many animals, you just need to be patient and look hard. Remember, little animals are prey for lots of bigger animals, are amazing at hiding and may be wary of sudden movements. So if you take the time to pause you may see an animal move or come out to play when they think the coast is clear.
By focusing in on the animals in front of you and spending time trying to understand their behaviours you will have removed the focus of all the things that were on your mind. As humans we spend too much time rushing around and worrying that we rarely take the moment to just breathe and relax and think about something else. Well here at the National Marine Aquarium we offer you this chance to reconnect with nature and increase your wellbeing in the process.
Next time you visit the National Marine Aquarium take the time to just Sit, Watch and Relax.