Do you remember what it was like to run around barefoot as a child? Whether it was the grass in the yard or the sand at the beach, it invoked feelings of freedom and happiness. However, as many of us live in modern day cities, close encounters with nature are becoming more rare.
We’re accustomed to wearing shoes once we step outside and have become overly obsessed with sterilization.
Side note: sanitary precautions are still necessary, especially during these times.
But there are many psychological and health benefits from connecting with nature, all while still staying safe around your home or nearby park.
This phenomenon is called grounding.
What is Grounding or Earthing?
Grounding, also known as earthing, is a therapeutic technique that reconnects the human body to the earth. It involves direct contact with a natural earth’s surface (e.g. soil, stones, grass, mulch, sand, water, etc).
According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, electrons from the earth’s surfaces transfer into our bodies during direct contact, and once absorbed, provide numerous health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Grounding?
Physical Benefits of Grounding
Some of the physical benefits of grounding are:
- Restoring balance and neutralizing our electrical state
- Removing accumulated free radicals, which contribute to aging and inflammation
- Reducing cortisol levels (a hormone released in response to stress)
- Increasing energy levels
- Improving bone health
- Reducing the risk for heart disease
Psychological and Mental Benefits of Grounding
Some of the psychological and mental benefits of grounding include:
- Reducing stress levels
- Improving sleep and combating insomnia
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Increasing relaxation
- Improving mood
Grounding Techniques and Exercises
The easiest and most common grounding technique is to remove your shoes and walk barefoot outside on a natural surface.
Your body can start to feel the effects of grounding within seconds. There isn’t a ceiling for how long you can ground, but up to 30-minutes is the typical amount of time.
If you have a yard…
This can be done on the grass in your backyard or front lawn (bonus if the grass is freshly watered or slightly damp for additional ions through water), soil, gravel (from natural stone like granite), stone slabs, or mulch.
Apartment and condo dwellers can easily replicate this at a nearby park.
If you live near the beach…
This is the best place for grounding because the combination of sand and saltwater are highest in electrons and ions.
Hardcore wellness enthusiasts also add cold water therapy by submerging in the ocean for additional health benefits, like lowering inflammation and mental clarity.
If you prefer to stay indoors…
Although getting outdoors is the preferred method for grounding, there are several products created for indoor grounding, such as grounding mats. Good quality grounding mats are made with conductive materials to mimic the effects of outdoor grounding, and they claim to still provide some of the same health benefits. These are perfect for city dwellers that don’t have immediate access to the outdoors.
Final Thoughts: Grounding Techniques for Health and Anxiety
While grounding has been widely claimed to provide benefits for health and anxiety, it is not a magic cure-all for existing conditions. Grounding is a great addition to a balanced approach in health and wellness routines, and there’s more exciting research being done into this practice.
If you’re still curious about grounding, check out this video.
Or to learn more about how this can be incorporated into your lifestyle, try Yes Health for free for 14 days to see what your health coaching team recommends for you.
Yes Health is a low-cost, weight loss and diabetes-prevention program committed to helping everyone live healthier, happier lives.