You've probably heard about grounding (AKA earthing) practices. But do you know what grounding is? And do you understand the theory behind why it's good for you and how it works?
Well never fear, because here we're going to break through some of the confusion and get clear on:
-What grounding is.
-Why it's good for you and deserves a spot in your self care routine
-How to incorporate it into your busy life!
What is Grounding?
Put simply, grounding is the practice of connecting your body directly to the earth: dirt, grass, sand, rocks, or even concrete. Ideally you want to aim to get at least 30 minutes of grounding time each day.
Why is Grounding good for you?
Have you ever gone for a walk barefoot on the beach or on the grass and just felt so much better afterwards? Perhaps your mood shifted, you felt re-energized, or your aches & pains lessened? If that sounds familiar, then you've probably benefited from the practice of grounding.
The human body is made up of mostly water and minerals, which are of course excellent conductors of energy. Humans, as well as every other living thing on this planet, have always been connected to the ground. Walking barefoot or in natural shoes, connecting with the natural Earth every day. And our bodies have always been neutralized and balanced by the Earth's energy. But since the industrialization and urbanization of many societies, this connection has been lost. We've become energetically disconnected, sleeping inside buildings and wearing plastic soled shoes. Our bodies have lost a connection that they crave and need to regulate and maintain a healthy balance.
There are many theories that call this out as a possible cause for many forms of illness and disease. Things like chronic aches & pains, headaches, poor sleep, arthritis, fatigue, exhaustion, many stress-related and gastrointestinal disorders, plus many more can actually be helped along by incorporating grounding into your daily routine. Your body has an innate ability to heal and restore balance, and grounding is a powerful tool that can help this healing along.
Grounding has been shown to improve health in the following ways:
+ Improved sleep quality
+ Pain relief
+ Improved blood circulation
+ Lowers stress
+ Relief from headaches
+ Balanced cortisol levels, especially at night
+ Improved cardiovascular function
+ Reduced inflammation
+ Normalized muscle tension
+ Accelerate recovery from intense athletic activity
+ Increased levels of energy during the day
+ Reduced free radicals in the body
So why does grounding deserve a spot in your self care routine?
Self care is all about - you guessed it! - caring for yourself. This means taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. The beautiful thing about self care is that it looks completely different on everyone. Different activities, different focus, but the same goal: To be healthy and happy.
Any activity that is free, simple, can be combined with other tasks, and has all of the above benefits deserves a spot at the table!
How do I incorporate grounding as self care into my already busy life?
Often times self care seems overwhelming. Like just another thing to put on your to-do list. It seems to add more stress to your plate rather than take it away.
But what if it could be done at the same time as playing with your kids? Or walking the dog? Or tidying the backyard? What if you could go for a picnic and reduce your muscle aches at the same time? Go to the beach and get a better nights' sleep? Would you be in? I know I certainly would!
That's one of the beautiful things about this practice, is that it can be built in around all of your daily activities. It might be as simple as purposely taking your shoes off when you're at the park with your kids. Maybe having a picnic and going barefoot, or gardening without gloves on.
Ideally you want to incorporate about 30 minutes of grounding each day to get the maximum benefits, but 5 minutes is still better than nothing! This isn't an all or nothing situation. Every little bit counts.
If you can't get 30 minutes of grounding in each day, then look at your schedule and see where you might be able to put 5 minutes. Then maybe stretch that to 10 or 15.
And I know you're going to ask... But what about winter in colder climates?
Well there are still things you can do to ground yourself no matter where you live or how much access you have to bare earth.
While going outside and connecting your body directly to the Earth is free and is the preferred method, there are some specialty products that can help you do this inside. Items such as bedding, jewelry, shoes, seating pads, leads, and so much more!
So what do you think, is grounding something you'll be working into your self care schedule?
If you're looking for a little more self care, check out the Seven Day Self Care Booster!
This introductory mini course is all about getting you set up for success with a simple, rewarding intentional self care ritual that will have you feeling amazing and nourished each and every day!
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For more information, check out the following. (Please note, I have not tried or tested any of the items from the following companies. These links are for informational purposes only and I don't condone or recommend any one in particular.)
United States: www.grounded.com
Sources for further reading:
1. Grounding after moderate eccentric contractions reduces muscle damage.
2. Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth's surface electrons.
3. The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress.