Great things to practice to celebrate Earth Day.
Grounding or also known as Earthing is a practice I do regularly, actually every chance I get. Grounding has been used in spiritual practices to connect with the earth, holistic medical practices, and also used as a mental health aid by professionals as a mindfulness practice that helps decrease anxiety and dissociation. According to the National Library of Medicine, grounding is-
Grounding or earthing refers to direct skin contact with the surface of the Earth, such as with bare feet or hands, or with various grounding systems. Subjective reports that walking barefoot on the Earth enhances health and provides feelings of well-being can be found in the literature and practices of diverse cultures from around the world.
You may be thinking- really, how can something as simple as walking barefoot on land benefit me health-wise? It can be surprising for some who have never heard of the practice, but from someone that practices, I have always felt great afterward. Surprising research has shown that grounding/earthing:
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves sleep by normalizing the day-night cortisol rhythm
- Reduces pain
- Decrease in stress levels
- Speeds up healing in wounds
- Improves immune system
The practice of grounding and earthing is using your body to physically connect to the earth to absorb the earth's natural energy. The exercises are fairly easy too. Walking on the beach, with my feet partially in the water is my favorite. When I can't get to the beach, simply walking on the grass in my yard will do. Gardening is a great way also by connecting through your hands and feet (if barefoot)! It's not only standing on the earth's surface either, laying down on land is also a great way to absorb the natural healing energy. Taking a swim in the ocean or other natural water sources is also considered grounding.
Grounding in mental health practices is used as a mindfulness exercise. The issues grounding is used for are anxiety and trauma-caused behaviors as well as dissociation. Say you feel as if your anxiety may get the best of you walking barefoot in the grass while being mindful and focusing on the sensations you feel while walking on the earth and watching your feet move out in front of you with each stride gives a calming effect and shows you that you are in control at that moment. With racing thoughts, putting your hands in the soil, sand, or a water source and paying attention to the way it feels on your skin and the texture of the grounding material will bring you back to the here and now so you can focus. Even if you are not struggling, using this practice as a mindful activity is a great exercise to relieve stress and stay present.
So have you tried grounding yet or plan to? Let me know in the comments!