Surf Your Way Into a Good Mood

Catching waves for 30 minutes can help you feel more positive

For his master’s thesis at California State University–Long Beach, Ryan Pittsinger, a lifetime surfer and native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., surveyed 107 surfers after a 30-minute session in the waves and found that positivity and tranquillity increased significantly while negative mood and fatigue decreased. Pittsinger shared his study results at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in San Diego in August. He also offered his observational findings on how surfing can help veterans overcome symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, the subject of his Ph.D. research in counselling psychology at the University of Iowa.

Pittsinger will work with a Manhattan Beach-based “ocean therapy” program founded in 2005 to help at-risk youth and recently adapted for adults. The program combines surf instruction with discussions to help participants apply the principles of surfing—like confidence and trust—to their everyday lives. “You have no control over the conditions,” Pittsinger says, “so you’re forced to deal with” what you get.

/Sourced 19th December, 2010 from

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