The benefits of Earthing – When was the last time you connected with nature? This doesn’t mean plugging in your headphones and setting off for a run or reluctantly cutting the grass on a Sunday afternoon. Nor does it mean you need to embark on a 10-mile hike armed only with a sleeping bag, a packet of trail mix, praying you will find foliage large enough to cover your bathroom needs.
Now the good weather is here there is no better time to wake up and smell the grass! Get one with the earth and soak up the benefits of earthing. Mother Nature’s healing in the most simple way.
I have always loved nature. As a child, I spent a lot of time in the local woods where I would imagine moss covered logs housed fairies and whole communities of little people. Empty matchboxes housed ladybirds. I collected frogs spawn and chrysalis hoping to raise little pets. I ate picnics sat on wobbly tree stumps, waded in streams and dug up the dirt to make mud pies.
As I grew up and away from these childhood moments, it became a little too easy to let my connection with nature slide. Life became busy, renovation and DIY projects filled the weekends and long walks were exchanged for strolls down the aisles of the nearest B&Q store.
It wouldn’t be until I found myself gardening with handfuls of soil or taking a break from the decorating with a cup of tea in the garden that I would remember how much I loved being in nature. How it energised me and gave me a sense of peace.
All too often life was so fast paced that it often seemed like my connections with the great outdoors was reduced to scrolling through someone else’s hiking trip on FB or catching a few lungfuls of fresh air on the way to the supermarket or the school run.
In the last couple of years getting back to nature has been a big part of my healing process. Building up my exercise tolerance by taking walks has not only improved my physical health. It has reintroduced me to the healing benefits of being outdoors. When I am in nature I feel more balanced and relaxed. I am able to stop the racing thoughts that accompany my anxiety and by taking time out to observe the natural world around me I feel grounded in the here and now.
While getting back to a more natural approach to life I have also rediscovered a few other simple ways to reconnect with my surroundings, walking barefoot in the grass, finding the time to sit with my back against the apple tree to listen to the birds singing and watching the bees zipping around the lavender. On sunny Winter days, I have bundled myself up and taken my lunch outside.
I know, I know, it all sounds oh so lovely and viewed through rose tinted glasses but it wasn’t until last year that I discovered that in trying to re-connect with nature I have unconsciously been practising and receiving the benefits of earthing.
What are the benefits of Earthing?
Earthing or grounding as it is sometimes called is the practice of connecting barefoot to the earth. In doing so it allows the body to absorb negatively charged electrons.
The human body is positively charged so by connecting to the earth’s natural energy field we can help our bodies to re-balance through a negative charge.
It is known that the immune system functions at its best when supplied with adequate electrons. A 2007 PubMed article states that ‘free electrons from the earth neutralize the positively charge free radicals that are the hallmark of chronic inflammation’. These electrons can be absorbed by the body through the simple act of walking barefoot on the ground. The electrons can have a balancing antioxidant effect on the body helping to protect it from inflammation.
Other articles show that earthing can even have a positive effect wound healing. It can also promote physiological changes within our bodies, improve glucose regulation and relieve stress.
Research shows that by connecting with the earth’s energy we can obtain antioxidants for free, synchronise our biorhythms and balance our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
Wow! so there you have it rejuvenation, less stress, better sleep. A more relaxed you. Just by chilling out with Mother N and what’s more it’s totally free and accessible to all.
How to practice Earthing
Earthing couldn’t be any simpler. Just kick off your shoes. Walk barefoot, lie or sit on grass, soil, sand or stone.
Tip – Walking on wet humid surfaces can amplify the effects of earthing even further.
Your body will naturally absorb the earth’s electrical charge. Since our heartbeat, brain and neurotransmitters are essentially electrical signals, connecting with the earth through your bare feet is like plugging yourself into a free open-air charger.
So next time you’re out in nature why not ditch those shoes and recharge your batteries the natural way.What are you waiting for? Go barefoot. Get your earthing on!