The stress and responsibility of everyday life get to everyone from time to time. “Everyday life” these days, taking into consideration the pandemic and its impact on almost every facet of our lives, dramatically heightens these emotions.
Feeling helpless or overwhelmed can have a tremendous effect on our physical and mental health.
Stress and anxiety can lead to numerous health issues, including cardiovascular disease, insomnia, chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and inadequate immune response. Medication and therapy are effective—but expensive.
Getting out into nature has been reported to give your spirits a much-needed boost, and it is 100-percent free. Health professionals from all disciplines have long recommended taking a leisurely walk, brisk hike, or simply sitting outdoors for some fresh air to reset and recharge.
Nature has tremendous physical and mental health benefits. Sunshine alone is a primary source of Vitamin D, a vital nutrient that keeps the right amount of calcium in our bodies. There is just something about being outdoors that help can help calm the mind and put aside our worries and anxieties, at least temporarily.
Not just “going outside”
The earth is full of energy and the electrical charges emanating from the ground are believed to positively affect our bodies and our minds. The practice of grounding, also called earthing, takes merely going outside a step further by connecting with the earth’s energies through direct bodily contact, either through our bare skin or by using grounding shoes.
By making this connection, the body returns to its natural state of homeostasis. This is a balance between its physical and chemical makeup. This article explains the basics behind grounding and how it can help a range of conditions. Multiple studies have also shown favorable results from grounding to reduce pain, boost the immune system, and improve sleep quality.
Walking barefoot in grass or sand, digging your hands deep into soil while gardening, touching a rock, or yes, hugging a tree are just a few of the many grounding techniques that are known to be effective. Technology like HARMONY783’s grounding shoes now brings the numerous benefits of grounding to everyday life.
Through the act of grounding, we tap into the electrical energy of the earth directly. It can be challenging to be still, sit in the sunshine, and let nature do its work. But studies have shown contacting the earth can help numerous mental and emotional issues, including:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
Although it is most effective to make direct contact with the earth, sometimes it is not feasible because of where we live. The next best thing would be to wear grounding footwear or use a product like a grounding mat to practice the technique inside.
Here are five ways grounding can improve your mental or emotional health:
1. Connect with your five senses.
One of the main benefits of grounding is it allows you to use all five senses. Take a long look at what you see when you go outside—beautiful mountains, peaceful fields, the rushing ocean?
Or challenge yourself by closing your eyes and tapping into your other senses. Utilize your sense of touch—put your hand on a rock, wiggle your toes into the sand, and dig your fingers into the dirt. If it is snowing, catch snowflakes on your tongue like you did when you were a kid.
Pay attention to sounds—the birds, the wind, or silence. Be still and just take in everything around you for a few minutes. This helps shift your focus from your internal to external surroundings. Being fully present and immersed in nature for a time just feels good.
2. Improve focus and concentration.
People with mental or emotional issues often feel overwhelmed and have difficulty thinking rationally—some describe it as feeling “scattered”. Grounding techniques can help slow racing thoughts and simply focus on being present. These techniques are particularly effective when used as part of a meditation practice, as Gaetan Chevalier, Ph.D., director of the Earthing Institute, concluded as part of a 2019 study.
3. Practice acceptance.
Everyone faces challenges and hurdles from time to time—the key is how we overcome them. Some challenges are easily overcome; others take longer. There are times when we must simply accept the outcomes of certain situations. Easier said than done, we know, however, worth a try.
4. Adapt to change.
For those who live with mental or emotional issues, particularly chronic anxiety, it can be difficult to adjust to changing surroundings or circumstances. If you look closely at nature, you will notice it’s changing all the time—this might make it easier to adapt to changes in our own lives.
5. Be less critical of yourself.
It is not unusual to set high personal standards. This can actually be a good thing. It is when we feel that we are constantly falling short of some mark we have set for ourselves that the self-criticism and self-doubt creep in.
As we look at nature, we find imperfection everywhere—misshapen trees and leaves, rocks, and land formations. So, perfection is really an illusion.
Connecting to the earth and finding comfort in nature is certainly not a new phenomenon. With so many distractions and responsibilities occupying our lives, it has become more difficult to get back outside and recharge. Yet this is the time when we need to get outside more than ever.
Whether you are coping with physical or mental pain or stress, take a few moments to take in some deep breaths of fresh air, lie in the grass with some bare skin touching (even if just a hand), walk on the sand if you are fortunate enough to live by a waterway or ocean, dig in the dirt, or simply wear HARMONY783 footwear for all of your grounding needs. It will do you good!