Let’s talk grounding. But first, let me set the scene for what was happening right before writing this post. It’s raining outside, the sun has just set, Molly (my roommate’s chocolate lab) is running around in circles in our backyard, and I’m barefoot dancing around in the grass to no music. Why? I’m not really sure.
I had just had dinner – a Buddha bowl with chickpeas, sweet potato, avocado, and greens (yum.) – and I’m always pretty happy once I’m fed. I had just finished yet another post on Iceland, and it just felt so good to create.
We think we’re living these healthy, fun lives, but we forget what it’s like to feel like a child again and connect with the Earth.
We wear rubber soles on our feet, stare at our phones when walking around, and spend hours zoned in on fictional (or reality) characters’ lives instead of living in our own.
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Our skin naturally has a positive charge, and rubber shoes insulate us from the electromagnetic field of the planet. There have been studies that show a correlation of the invention of rubber sole shoes with an increase in diseases in humans. The first ones date back to 1876 in England. Granted, there were a lot of other things going on at the time, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it.
When we connect our physical bodies (our skin) to the ground, known as “grounding” or “earthing,” negatively charged electrons are transferred to our bodies.
As a result, we feel energized, revitalized, and literally, electrified. These electrons help remove free radicals from our bodies, reducing our risk of cancer and other diseases. They can also relieve anxiety and depression by bringing the nervous system back to its natural state, therefore relaxing you.
Your autonomic nervous system, the system that acts unconsciously and regulates your bodily functions, switches from a sympathetic (fight or flight) state to a parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. Grounding can also help insomnia, clear your mind, and help you focus on one task at a time.
Here’s a list of some of the benefits of grounding:
- Better sleep
- Reduced inflammation in all areas of the body
- Reduced acute or chronic pain
- Regulation of cortisol (the stress hormone!) and reduced overall stress
- Neutralization of reactive oxygen species (free radicals)
- Blood thinning
- Improved glucose regulation
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Better focus
- More energy
- Overall improved mood
I can attest to the better sleep, less stress, and improved mood ones for sure. You can read the entire study here, which was published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health. Don’t worry, it’s a super easy read.
I totally get if you think this is BS and a little woo-woo. I honestly did for like, the first 20 times I heard about this, even though it completely makes sense. Finally, I just dove into the research and that was exactly what my science-y self needed in order to give it a shot.
But I’m not here to tell you that you need to try it ASAP. Although, if there is someone out there who hasn’t heard of grounding, now you know. And if you’re still skeptical, just give it a shot for about a week then try to tell me you don’t feel any different.
Think back to when you were a child. Did you play outside in the dirt and sand? Of course you did. Or maybe you lived by a forest or the beach. Maybe all of the above?
We adults – and I use that term loosely around here – are so disconnected from the Earth for so many reasons. So, why not bring a little balance back into our lives, in one of the easiest ways imaginable?
Ok, so how do I actually implement this?
I started walking around barefoot whenever I go for walks and it has literally been transformational. If you do this, just be careful, because it does set you up for a risk of either infections or stepping on something sharp.
I just ordered these shoes, which are considered “grounding shoes,” and have the same effect as being barefoot.
Yes, I know they’re ugly. I just don’t care. You can also get these shoes which are a little cuter and a little cheaper, but you have to take out the foam insoles. Other options: here, here, and here. Plus these flip flops or these flats or moccasins.
I love putting on a podcast and getting to learn something new while moving my body and getting some fresh air. But lately it’s felt even better to ditch my phone at home, or, like today, just dance in the backyard. I even do a little standing yoga out there, especially sun salutations and balance poses, and try to avoid falling over when Molly inevitably wonders wtf I’m doing and runs into me.
Speaking of which, yoga in general is a great way to feel grounded.
I mean, your entire body is on the ground at some point while basically channeling energy throughout your body. Actually, next time you’re in a yoga class in Shavasana, try flipping your palms down and spreading them out on the floor. Pretend you’re touching the Earth itself without floorboards or any kind of foundation. You’ll still get the transfer of electrons, even through concrete. It feels pretty damn great, too.
Or even just lay down on your floor in your house. Does anyone else love doing this? Sometimes you just need something flat and cold to lay on, right?? Let me know if this is a normal thing or if I’m just a weirdo. If you want to get real crazy, you can also buy special conductive mats for sleeping or working (check them out here, here, or here).
The point is to ground ourselves and put a little electromagnetic balance back into our bodies. It’s just science.
You’ll find that you don’t feel the need to be on your phone as much, because nature is so much more fun.
Unplug & Crowd Out The Bad Stuff
We all know we should spend less time on our phones, but I find that any kind of elimination approach never works for me, whether it be technology, food, alcohol, or even bad friends.
Instead, crowd out the negative with more of the positive.
For example: eating too many sweets? Fill your plate with lots of cooked vegetables that you ENJOY, and eat those first. It’s a slow process, but you’ll start to want less and less dessert. Case in point: I used to have such a sweet tooth, and now I hardly eat anything sweet at all. The most I ever really crave is some dark chocolate with almond butter, or recently I’ve been really into dessert hummus (don’t knock it til you try it). This is nothing new. You know this already.
Now apply this concept to every area of your life. Spend time with friends who lift you up. Actually, they don’t even have to be friends. This is why I love podcasts so much. I feel like I’m having a casual chat with all these successful and innovative people, and it’s how I get some of my best ideas.
Spend more time traveling or in nature, where your entertainment is right in front of you. Go to places that make you feel ALIVE. Drink so much tea that you start telling yourself, “just one more cup and then I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine,” until you crave the tea more than anything. Finally, surround yourself with people so awesome that anyone who doesn’t vibe at that frequency just naturally falls away.
Unplug, but then connect.