Feeling stressed? Try some aquarium therapy!

A large number of people come by the reef tank on a regular basis to view the fish, corals and variety of invertebrates. Personally I go out there and view the tank at least a couple of times each day. I have kept aquaria off and on since I was about 8 years old, and I credit my freshwater tank for getting me past math in high school. I remeber getting stuck on math problems. I would get up, sit in front of my tank for 15 minutes and then go back. More often than not, that was enough to clear my head and allow me to progress.

Have you noticed that you feel better and more relaxed after visiting the reef tank? Well, it may not be just your imagination. In fact, watching aquatic life has been scientifically studied and may in fact have a calming effect on many people. Aquarium-watching ranked among the 6 most relaxing things to do according to an article today in Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/national-relaxation-day-stress-tips_n_3758071.html?utm_hp_ref=tw) in honour of national relaxation day (there’s a good idea, USA!). Albeit non-significant at α=0.05, there was a trend (P=0.08) towards less pre-treatment stress in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) patients  http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279303786992071. It should be noted that ECT is what you and I know as electroshock, so it is perhaps no wonder that it is hard to achieve anything highly significant in terms of stress reduction.

Either way, if you feel stressed, why not pop by the UNBC reef tank to have a look. What do you have to lose?

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