The Importance of Grounding For Physical and Mental Health
As we adjust to colder weather and shorter days, we’re inevitably spending more time indoors. While cozying up inside can provide warm comforts, our bodies still need the natural energy we gain from being outside. So during this time of transition, it’s important to prioritize time outdoors for grounding — or Earthing. Regular grounding is shown to reduce stress, help you feel more centered, strong, and balanced.
Grounding is the idea that humans need to spend time with their bare feet and or hands directly on the ground to receive energy from the Earth. The concept that the planet’s energies influence how our bodies feel and function can be traced back to ancient China in a principle known as Earth Qi, which says all natural things are influenced by the cycles of the Earth’s magnetic fields and heat underground. In the 1800s, German naturopath Adolf Just encouraged walking barefoot and sleeping on the ground to gain energy and strength from the Earth. And, of course, Native Americans had a deep understanding of humans’ connection to nature and its healing powers. But it wasn’t until 1998, when retired cable TV entrepreneur Clint Ober experimented with grounding, that its effects were studied.
Ober found that the Earth’s surface contains electrons that our feet absorb when we’re in direct contact with the terrain. When we’re not grounded, we absorb electromagnetic radiation from things like our phones or TV, which can throw us off. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that “grounding essentially eliminates the ambient voltage induced on the body from common electricity sources.”
When you are energetically grounded, all the systems in your body balance out on a cellular level and are able to function normally. This energetic transfer helps ground us — and not just in a spiritual way. Studies have shown that connecting to the Earth’s internal energies can reduce inflammation and pain and improve sleep and circulation. The easiest way to reset your body and reap the benefits of grounding is to practice Earthing as much as possible. Here are four helpful grounding techniques to get you started.
1. Incorporate Grounding Into Your Daily Ritual
It doesn’t matter when — maybe it’s first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee, during a mindful brain break, or even after work at the end of your day — but incorporating grounding into a daily ritual can help with consistency. Venture out to your backyard or a local park and stick your toes in the grass for 10 to 15 minutes per day.
Recently, I’ve started Earthing first thing in the morning when I take my dog out. Her 6:30 am wake-up call to go outside forces me outside, so I make the most of it. Engaging in a morning grounding practice can create a positive mood shift and set the tone for the day.
2. Try Grounding At the Beach
The days may be getting shorter and colder — but don’t rule out the beach! If you happen to live near sandy shores, take advantage of this opportunity for grounding. I love going to the beach layered up in sweaters and bringing lots of blankets. It gives me the chance to connect back to my child-like self playing in the sand and dipping my feet into the water. The ocean has an energetic pull that can positively impact your spirit, mind, and body. Grounding at the beach always leaves me feeling awakened and cleansed.
3. Ground With Others
My favorite way to ground is to do so with friends. We make time every week to meet at our local park. Everyone brings a few blankets and a lot of snacks! We kick off our shoes, enjoy the company though the sunset, and often end up staying all night sharing stories, laughing, and riding the energetic high. It’s an amazing way to feel connected with our environment and each other.
4. Take A Break On A Hike
The next time you’re hiking up a mountain or through a forest, take some time for Earthing. This short practice can be done during your mid-uphill battle or a reward for getting to the top. Nothing feels better than taking your boots off after a big hike and pressing your feet on the cool rock. It’s a powerful feeling to be fully immersed and connected with the Earth. Of course, it’s important to be cognizant of your surroundings. If it’s freezing or snowing outside, limit your grounding practice to a few minutes to keep yourself safe.