Sum…Sum…Summertime! Kick off your shoes and plant those tootsies on the earth. Aah… Feel calmer? More centred and balanced? That’s the power of grounding or connecting to the electrical charge inherent in the earth.
The more we walk on pavement, live and work high off the ground, and wear synthetic soles on our shoes, the more removed we are from the earth’s natural flow of negatively charged electrons.
Because we are bioelectrical beings—as are all living things—we need to ‘plug’ directly into the giant battery that is Planet Earth, to recharge.
Healing from the Outside In
Most people see themselves as separate from nature, that it is somewhere ‘out there’. But the truth is that we are just one of the interconnected living beings that make up nature. We are nature and it is us, and we simply don’t function optimally, mentally or physically, when we become disconnected from this power source. Plugging back in is as easy as placing your bare feet on the ground.
This grounding or ‘earthing’, show studies by biophysicist Dr. James Oschman, allows the earth’s negative electrons to migrate into your body, which in turn neutralize free radicals created by injury or chronic inflammation, and help to improve circulation and sleep, and reduce stress and pain.
Studies on the benefits of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing—after only two, twice-daily walks—show a significant decrease in adrenalin in the bloodstream, as well as scores for depression, fatigue, anxiety, and confusion, and an increase in the adiponectins that regulate blood glucose levels.
In a 2018 study, the Nature Conservancy of Canada asked 2,000 people about their connection to the outdoors.
• 97% feel happier, healthier, and more productive when in nature
• 74% think it’s easier to stay inside
• 66% no longer spent as much time outside as they once did
• 94% are aware of the physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature
Think of it as Taking Your Vitamin G
Walking barefoot, sitting or lying down outside, is the simplest way to ground yourself. Kick off your shoes and walk, ideally:
• On a beach, close to or, ideally, in the water, or
• On grass, especially covered with dew.
If you can’t, then walk barefoot on unsealed, unpainted concrete. If you must wear shoes, choose leather soles; plastic or rubber soles as well as asphalt, wood, and vinyl act as insulators that don’t allow the electrons to pass through.
Better yet, turn off your phone (or leave it behind), breathe deeply, and tap into all your senses.
Listen to the birds, the breeze, and the rustle of leaves. Watch how the light plays in the forest. Feel the textures under your toes.
Aah…better than television, any day!
The article was published in The Good Life.