Psychological Benefits to Owning a Water Feature

Mental health is an important factor to living a successful well-balanced life. The stress of the everyday grind on top of all the unpredictable events, can have a direct effect on your body and mind. Finding ways to incorporate self-care will help to decrease stress and its impact.  

What if someone told you a water feature in your space could reduce stress and increase your overall well-being? You’d probably think, sign me up! Well, research shows there are psychological benefits to having a water feature and that “waterscapes can have more benefits than green spaces.” Exposure to nature has a calming effect that induces positive thoughts, fosters spirituality and psychological restoration. The natural boost of serotonin also increases focus and promotes creativity. Water is among the top features of nature tested in these studies to promote good mental health. The sound of moving water and exposure to water can greatly improve your psychological and even physical health. 

A deep connection to water  

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth, covering over 70% of the planet. Water has the power of continuous change; it crystallizes and freezes when it’s cold, it steams in heat, and ripples when touched. It comprises between 65% and 78% of our body (varying with age), making up over 70% of our brain, heart, skin, muscles, kidneys, lungs, and liver. We are water in human form and it’s understandable why we are so affected by its presence.  

Being around water gives our brains and our senses a rest from overstimulation and promotes calmness, focus, creativity, and better sleep quality. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, believes that we all have a “blue mind” and maintains, “that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.” 

The calming nature of water features 

Having a water feature not only adds to the ambiance of your home and yard, but it also provides the psychological benefits of water. Even if you are not near natural water, Nichols suggests being mindful of small bodies of water like fountains, ponds, pools, and streams to gain the benefits of the “blue mind". These water features can trigger the brain to experience empathy, positive emotion, and self-awareness — the building blocks that make up happiness. The sound of running water has been shown to be effective in the reduction of the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol, which are associated with many health ailments when levels are high. A reduction in these hormones will also help to reduce anxiety. Also, water, in all forms, releases negatively charged ions into the air, which combats free radicals and purifies the air. These negative ions are also believed to boost serotonin levels which relieve stress and depression and in turn increase energy, alertness, and concentration. 

Creating a water feature can be therapeutic 

Water is not the only advantage to having a water feature, the whole creative process has benefits. The early planning stages gets the mind focused on a goal to work towards.   

Making Goals 

Setting goals is a helpful way to boost motivation and enable people to make the changes they desire. According to experts, establishing objectives can play a vital role in the journey towards mental wellness. Conditions such as depression or anxiety often hinder our ability to perform effectively at work or home and can strain our relationships with others. By setting goals, you can actively participate in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), kickstarting the journey toward healing and constructing a fulfilling life once again. 


The next step is planning where the water feature will be and what supplies you need. Doing this will help with organizational skills and learning how to research and make To Do lists. For families with children, this is a good learning experience to acquire these skills along with learning about responsibility. Accountability is a huge aspect of good mental health and learning at a young age can foster a positive sense of self.  


Then there is the process of creating the water feature, requiring physical activity and being outdoors. Being active is directly linked to mental health. Psychiatrists and the staff at state that physical activity is “one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood…Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference.” This is the perfect way to get the whole family involved or do something alone that is active and outdoors. Being in the sun is also proven to boost mood states. “Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. This is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused,” according to mental health professionals at 


The final product will give a sense of productivity and accomplishment, which is key to feeling whole and valued. This can be used as a great example of your ability to achieve goals in the future if you are feeling down or unsure about a challenge or new goal. And the best part is you have added a beautiful safe space to your home you can enjoy whenever you want!  

Having a water feature is the perfect way to achieve all these positive attributes.  Affordable and easy to maintain, water features are your steppingstone to a happier and healthier life.