If you are feeling unbalanced and just out of sorts, learn how to ground yourself by reconnecting with the Earth…. and yourself.
I am writing this in September of 2020, right smack in the middle of the massive west coast fires. My husband has been gone nonstop fighting fires, my kids are worried and this toxic air is fogging up my brain. I feel unbalanced and just off.
When this happens, I know that what my body needs is to some grounding, earthing as it is sometimes called.
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What is Grounding
Let’s talk about what Grounding is anyway. Many people think grounding is this woowoo thing. It actually isn’t. As woowoo as I am, this practice actually has scientific backing and benefit.
Are you ready for some science?
Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Earthing (or grounding) refers to the discovery of benefits—including better sleep and reduced pain—from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body.Journal of Environmental and Public Health
This same journal discusses how as little as 30 minutes of barefoot grounding a day has been shown to improve sleep, reduce pain, and reduce inflammation. That is pretty incredible, right?
So what happens when we make bare skin contact with the Earth? In simple terms, the Earth’s surface basically has a limitless supply of free electrons, which means…..
[When connecting to the Earth’s surface]…the ground’s abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive. Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Ok, so enough Science. In a nutshell, the Earth can bring our bodies to a balanced, restored state…. simply by touching it.
The Earth is like a giant battery, providing essential life force to everything on this planet. Including us. These free electrons that the Earth’s surface carries have a negative charge. And I’m sure you’ve heard of free radicals and the damage they can do to our bodies when in excess. The damage is due to the fact that they are always on the hunt for a free electron and will steal one from our healthy cells.
You’ve probably also heard of anti-oxidants that have extra free electrons to give to the free radicals to neutralize them. Popular antioxidants that you might be familiar with are vitamin C and vitamin E.
But did you know that the Earth is another HUGE and natural antioxidant? Simply by coming in contact with the Earth through your bare hands or feet, you can reap the benefits of all these free electrons.
Types of Grounding
The most common form of grounding is earthing. This is, at its core, connecting to the earth through your skin.
There are other versions of grounding such as water grounding. It is said that going into the sea or lakes can also provide a similar benefit as Earth grounding .
How to Ground Yourself
How to Ground Yourself – Earth
The best way to ground yourself using the Earth is to simply walk barefoot outside on the soil. Now, make sure you do this safely in appropriate terrain and weather, of course.
I used to give my kids a hard time for running around outside without shoes. I was more concerned with them getting all the dirt inside. And now that I live on a farm and grounding is a part of my daily routine, I encourage them to do the same. Now, I do have limits and all. No going into pastures without shoes!
When its too cold or wet or (whatever), I will simply touch the ground with my hands. Grab some soil even. OR, wear my moose-hide moccasins!
How to Ground Yourself – Water
If you live near an ocean or a lake, then simple go enjoy the water (if the water is conducive for visitors, that is)!
The idea of grounding…. It is not so far fetched to think about. Imagine a battery that slowly loses its charge. Think of your phone. Your computer. What do you need to constantly do to these in order for them to continue to function properly? Charge them.
Human are electrical beings. And just like your phone battery, we need to be recharged to function at an optimal level.
Never before in human history have we been so disconnected from the Earth. Both in the physical, but also in the mental. We are so disconnected that we are destroying the planet that gives us life. The Earth is not just this rock that provides us with minerals, water, soil, foods, but with electrical energy as well.
But we have disconnected ourselves from the electrical piece. Our shoes are insulated and prevent the Earth’s electrons from getting up into our bodies. How often do you walk barefoot? How often do you sleep under the stars?
We have this massive capacity for charging and healing and we circumvent this at every chance we get.
Healing and Grounding
It is said that our disconnection from direct contact with the Earth contributes to unwellness. Studies have shown that grounding improves sleep, stress, asthma, pain, respiratory symptoms, rhuemathoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, hypertension, inflammation and more.
I am adding a few more paragraphs here after the initial publication because I feel it is so relevant. I have a dog named Remington. He is my soul dog. My absolute love bug. He is a German Short Haired Pointer and is 3 years old. He got really sick (still is) and was hospitalized twice over the course of the last week and a half. We still don’t know if he will make it.
Now, let me give you a little history with this sweet puppy. Two years ago he got into some mouse poison. We found out shortly after he ate it and rushed him to the vet. Unfortunately the kind he ate there was no antidote for. The vets induced vomiting and he threw up a massive amount of bread. Turns out he ate the poison and then went and ate two loaves of bread. The bread absorbed the poison and is what kept him alive. It was a horrible mistake that will never happen again. But it was almost like he knew what to do.
Fast forward to now. The vets think he has a massive bone infection and not much is working in terms of treatment. But he’s in a lot of pain and struggling to move around. He hobbled outside and went and laid on the grass for a good 30 minutes. Now, mind you, it was cold outside, probably 40 degrees. But he did it anyway. I felt like, again, he knew what to do. I felt like he was grounding. Using the earth to try to heal himself. Who knows if that is what he was doing or not, but in my heart, I feel like he was.
Animals instinctively know what to do. Humans do to. We just don’t listen to it.
Now if for whatever reason you cannot ground directly with the Earth, you do have options.
I do not use grounding products but there are people who do! There are things such as grounding sheets and grounding bands (as well as other products) that will supposedly allow a similar benefit as direct Earth grounding. They do require you to plug them in to the ground part of the outlet. They sound quite interesting to be honest, but I’d much rather ground directly with the Earth.
I do, however, have grounding shoes. These are moose-hide ankle moccasins that I wear outside on occasion.
How to Ground Yourself in a Pinch
Now, the below don’t technically count as true “grounding”. However, there is much to be said about the power of the mind. Ever heard of the placebo affect? Our mind is powerful. Powerful enough to induce a physical change to our bodies simply by a thought.
Therefore, I’m going to suggest that on those rare occasions that you simply cannot “properly” ground, here are a few things you can do and with the right mindset, you never know what could happen.
When it is cold and rainy outside and I simply don’t want to go outside barefoot, occasionally I will go to one of my indoor plants and then touch and smell the soil. I also keep some fresh soil from the Earth in my plants.
Take a nice bath! I find a nice warm bath will often bring me back to center.
Lastly, simply take a deep breath and express gratitude. I do this daily, several time a day in fact. While this is not technically grounding by the scientific definition, it counts in my book. A clean, deep breath along with thoughts of the Earth and the connection will do wonders for you!