Be even Happier in the world’s “Happiest” Country – Living Life and Surfing in Nosara Costa Rica

  • March 27, 2014

Costa Rica has it share of accolades but you can put another “happiest country in the world” mention on the list. mentions Costa Rica as the #1 Happiest Country in the world…

“According to the Travel Channel, Costa Rica is the happiest country on Earth. It’s army-free, citizens have a life expectancy of 79.3, and they’re surrounded by a beautiful setting that’s sure to improve any mood. Expect beaches, volcanoes, rain forests, and pretty great weather most of the time. “Pura vida” is a local saying there, meaning “life is good.”

So we already know that Costa Rica is a relatively happy, laid back place to spend some time, a vacation, or as a place to live and settle. Most people that come to Nosara are usually drawn by one of two things: Surfing or Yoga. Well – as it turns out, surfers may have an advantage when it comes to the “happiness” factor – that goes far beyond just the adrenaline rush that most people associate with it.

According to scientists – riding waves leaves a lasting mark on your general happiness. Here is the explanation according to 

While surfing, we experience elevated levels of Adrenalin and Dopamine. Adrenaline raises your heart rate and increases your reaction time (the fight or flight reflex), while Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter triggered in your body when you are doing something you like. “Adrenaline junkies” – such as big wave surfers – get used to higher levels of these chemicals, as demonstrated by Keanu Reeves in Point Break.


While this adrenalin rush may give us an edge in the water the effects subside quickly once ashore, while surf-stoke remains long after we’re back on the beach. Research suggests these persistent effects of surf euphoria may be attributed to an unlikely candidate: sea spray.

The turbulence created by breaking waves alters the physical structure of the air and water, breaking apart water and air molecules and releasing charged ions* into the atmosphere. On their eternal quest for perfect waves surfers inevitably encounter this altered atmospheric state.

Some scientists are convinced this abundance of negative ions has a positive effect on mood by triggering the release of endorphins and serotonin – the “happy hormones” – and increasing blood flow and oxygen circulation through our bodies.


So come visit Nosara Costa Rica -catch some waves, enjoy the “Pura Vida”, drink some Pipa Fria, eat some Gallo Pinto and Casado dishes from a local Soda – but be sure to go surfing and play in the “ions” that are to leave a long lasting “tranquillo” feeling after you are out of the water and back on land. Now it is time for my daily dose of “happy ions”..See you in the water!

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