Good things to practice to celebrate Earth Day.
Grounding or also known as grounding is a practice I do regularly, in fact 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 reduce anxiety and dissociation. According to National Library of Medicinegrounding is
Grounding or grounding refers to direct contact of the skin with the Earth’s surface, for example with bare feet or hands, or with various grounding systems. Subjective reports that walking barefoot on Earth improves health and provides a sense of well-being can be found in the literature and practices of various cultures around the world.
You may be really thinking, how can something as simple as walking barefoot on earth benefit my health? This may be surprising to some who have never heard of the practice, but from someone who does, I always felt great afterwards. Surprising to research showed that grounding:
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves sleep by normalizing day-night cortisol rhythm
- Reduces pain
- Decreased stress level
- Accelerates wound healing
- Improves the immune system
The practice of grounding and grounding uses your body to physically connect to the earth to absorb the earth’s natural energy. The exercises are pretty easy too. Walking on the beach with my feet partially in the water is what I prefer. When I can’t go to the beach, I just walk on the grass in my yard. Gardening is also a great way by connecting through your hands and feet (if you are barefoot)! It’s not just about standing on the surface of the earth, lying on the earth is also a great way to absorb natural healing energy. Bathing in the ocean or other natural water sources is also considered grounding.
Grounding in mental health practices is used as a mindfulness exercise. Issues for which grounding is used are anxiety and trauma-induced behaviors as well as dissociation. Say you feel like your anxiety might get the better of you as you walk barefoot through the grass while being mindful and focusing on the sensations you feel as you walk on the dirt and watch your feet move 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 ground, sand, or a water source and paying attention to the feel on your skin and the texture of the grounding material will bring you back here and now so you can concentrate. Even if you’re not struggling, using this practice as a mindfulness activity is a great exercise for relieving stress and staying present.
So, have you ever tried grounding or are you planning to? Let me know in the comments!