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PHILADEPHIA (CBS) — Science suggests that being near oceans or other bodies of water can change your brain.

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According to researchers in numerous studies, being near moving bodies of water can provide many health benefits such as stress reduction, stability in emotions, and even better sleep.

Researchers at Michigan State University found that increased access to natural “blue spaces” such as oceans, rivers, and lakes was associated with lessened psychological distress.

Popularly, the sound of ocean waves used in white noise machines has been proven to encourage more peaceful sleep and reduce night waking problems.

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These theories go in hand with the idea of how color can also influence moods. Researchers believe the color blue is “tranquil and peaceful“. Strongly-colored blues can even promote clear thought while softer blues can help with concentration.

That may be why Hawaii has ranked as the happiest state in the country while New Jersey ranked 13, Delaware at 27, and Pennsylvania ranked 30.