According to marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind, there’s actually a scientific reason why so many people enjoy spending time near the water. So pack up your beach bag with your summer essentials — because science has just given us two reasons to take the epic beach vacation of our dreams.

According to Wallace, staring at a large body of water brings our brains a sense of calm akin to being in a meditative state. By selectively focusing on a few elements — the sound of the waves, the smell of the air, etc. — our mind effectively blocks out all the junk that’s making us stressed and we’re able to completely relax.

Taking a break from the overstimulation of countless screens and gadgets, a quick excursion to the ocean will allow your brains to activate your default mode network (DMN). Commonly associated with daydreaming, imagination and creativity, the DMN is commonly switched on when the brain is in wakeful rest.

But lets say you can’t make it to the beach, a shower will also do the trick, according to Wallace. “The shower is a proxy for the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean,” says Wallace. “You step in the shower and you remove a lot of the visual stimulation of your day. Auditorily, it’s the same thing — it’s a steady stream of ‘blue noise.’ You’re not hearing voices or processing ideas. You step into the shower and it’s like a mini-vacation.”