What Can Humans Learn From Whales?

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Whales often have this captivating facade that often leaves humans in awe of who they are. Majestic and elusive, it makes us wonder if there’s more to whales than just their appearances and migration patterns.

It is easy to assume that the human race is the brightest and the best of all living creatures, but this is a notion that can easily be contested. As much as we display our intelligence, dominance, and material accomplishments, there are so many things we can still learn from the natural world. Not only can we learn from the kindness of dogs, the resilience of trees, or the faithfulness of penguins, but we can also learn from whales.

Take a look at these characteristics of whales that we should all strive to emulate.

Going with The Flow

Have you heard of the term “hustle culture”? It is the idea that people should work hard, gulping down ounces of coffee and waking up at 4 am to reach their goals. The hustle culture believes that breaking one’s back is the only way to be successful. Sadly, this kind of thinking can be toxic, as well as causes burnout and mental breakdowns.

Whales, on the other hand, go with the flow instead of fighting the current. Their migration patterns are predicted by where the waters are warm. Sometimes, allowing yourself time to breathe, going with the flow, and taking a break is what you need to be in a warm, comfortable place. This is one lesson we can learn from whales.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Isn’t it interesting that despite living in the water, whales are mammals? This means that they come up periodically out of the water to breathe.

This is somehow related to the first lesson we can learn from whales. When we’re so obsessed with overthinking things or draining ourselves with the stresses of the day, we end up inflating the extent of our worries–causing mental and physical health consequences.

The truth is, taking time to breathe has its benefits. Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that many healthcare practitioners recommend in clinics, hospitals, and alcohol rehab facilities.

It improves blood flow, reduces inflammation, and rids the body of toxins. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember how whales take time to breathe.

Stimulate Your Mind

According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the behavior of these sea mammals suggest that they have bright minds. For one, they use echolocation, or the use of sound to locate a fellow-creature. 

Whales also have a part of their brain which is capable of processing emotions, similar to humans. These lovely mammals are also capable of assigning fellow-creatures distinct names, which are identifiable by certain sound markers. In essence, whales constantly use their minds to solve problems and make things easier!

This is another lesson we can learn from whales. Any machinery, including the brain, when left idle will start to rust. So, continue to find activities that stimulate your brain such as pursuing hobbies, reading, using problem-solving skills, and even playing games.

Valuing Friends and Family

How many times have you heard song lyrics that echo, “I can make it on my own!”. Unfortunately, this sentiment can only be achieved in a metaphorical way. Nobody “makes it” fully on their own. We need people to support us and help us in times of need.

Whales travel together in groups called “pods”. This way, they can look out for each other and make sure that they all get on their destination without being lost. Valuing the friends and family who support us is essential to any journey we are taking. When we are tempted to seek out life on our own, may we be reminded of this common animal instinct that no man, nor animal, is truly an island.

Be Yourself

The sophistication of human technology, although with many benefits, also caused a lot of problems that damage or psyche. Popular media, for one, causes problems in our self-esteem, making us wonder if we should look or act a certain way to be accepted.

This isn’t a concern for whales. Even if they stick in groups, they express themselves in their unique ways by singing a specific song. This song is tied to their identity–no other whale has this assigned tune. Thinking of it in human terms, to be less concerned about the opinions of others is a liberating thought. It can give you the opportunity to be your true self–a situation that can bring joy and peace of mind.

Feeling Down? Think of the Whales

Truly, there’s a purpose why we coexist with whales and the other wonderful creatures on earth. There’s so much to learn not just about them, but from them. Through these simple observations of their behaviour, may learn to swim through life more smoothly.


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Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.

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