When was the last time you laid on your back on the ground and looked for animals in the clouds in the sky? Or walked barefoot through the grass? Buried your toes in the sand? Hugged a tree? Used your hands to dig in the dirt? Jumped in a river or a lake or the ocean?
Turns out all have benefits beyond the obvious relaxation aspect. It’s called grounding. Sometimes it’s referred to as “earthing” but the bottom line is it requires you to connect some part of you to Mother Earth: you feet, your legs, the palms of your hands. In other words, your skin. When you do this, your body is able to absorb the electrical charges naturally found in the earth.
Truly a symbiotic relationship. Simply put, the earth is negatively charged which helps offset the positively charged free radicals we emit as a response to inflammation. The end result is equilibrium. Balance within the systems that govern our bodies.
Sort of like breathing. Trees soak up the carbon dioxide we exhale and in turn provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe and we again exhale carbon dioxide which the trees need to survive.
Why should you care?
Science hasn’t really caught up to this concept yet, so the studies are small, but they do exist. Benefits of consistent grounding, may include strengthening your body’s natural defense mechanisms, reducing inflammation, enhancing your mood, improving your sleep, and mitigating chronic pain. And, of course, each one of those benefits creates its own string of additional benefits…
Who knew something as simple as walking outside with bare feet could have such an impact on your daily wellbeing?
Even if you’re stuck behind a desk all day, working in a concrete jungle, make your way outside. Fresh air is, all by itself, an important tonic for your body. If grass is not an option, find a tree and just put your hand on it for a few minutes. Regardless of the outside temperature, touching a tree can always be in your self-care toolbox. Consider daily tree-touching a minimum.
There is a delicious scene in an old movie where Amanda Bynes convinces stodgy, British, (young) Colin Firth to take off his shoes and walk barefoot in the sand, saying it’s good for him to do that every day. She was on to something.
When it’s just not practical to walk barefoot outside or jump in the ocean or hug a tree, there are ways to benefit from earthing indoors by using grounding mats or sheets with earth connection cords. There’s controversy about whether they really work but know there is an alternative to the natural method.
If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive, Laura Koniver, the Intuition Physician, quickly lists the benefits of earthing when you do it for a few minutes or a few years. You can even sign up to receive her free eBook.
Practice. Be intentional. Just start. Commit to take two minutes right now, or during your lunch hour or as soon as you get home from work, regardless of the weather or the temperature and connect with nature. Be creative! You have everything to gain.
What type of grounding will you do today? And where will you do it?