Are you grounded?
This term is often used when describing a person’s origin or perspective (“grounded in reality”) or even their disciplinary status (in the case of misbehaving teens). In medical terms, grounding can have different meanings.
Grounding, or “earthing,” is the practice of connecting a body to earth. A complex energy network keeps the systems of our bodies going. The theory is that when you are connected to the earth by walking, sitting or lying directly on sand, grass or dirt, you soak up antioxidants. This connection helps you reset your “personal charge.”1
Although not widely studied, some research has shown this practice affects many physical conditions, including inflammation, pain, mood and more. Many cultures around the world have credited walking barefoot with positive physical changes and feelings of well-being.2
Reconnecting with nature and the earth is always relaxing. Getting outside and breathing fresh air can immediately change your perspective and mood. Proponents of grounding take connecting with nature a few steps beyond this. Try:
- Walking barefoot in grass, sand or even mud.
- Lying on the ground or having a picnic. Remember, it’s most effective when skin and earth connect.
- Submersing in natural bodies of water. Swim or wade into a lake or the ocean. Remember to stay safe.
- Gardening or exercising outdoors.
- Building a sandcastle, collecting rocks, gems or seashells.
- Using grounding equipment. When regularly getting outside isn’t an option, there are mats, sheets, blankets, bands, socks and patches that mimic the connectivity.2
Mentally grounding yourself
It’s all about calming and distancing yourself from negative thoughts and feelings. Try connecting to the present moment through your senses. Look around and name:3
- 5 things you can see. They can be near, such as the wall, or far, like a building or the sky.
- 4 things you can feel. Pay attention to your body. How your socks feel on your feet or how your hair feels on your forehead.
- 3 things you can hear. Do you hear traffic or birds?
- 2 things you can smell. If nothing stands out where you are, walk around, or remember smells that you like.
- 1 thing you can taste. This can be the last thing you ate or a mint in your drawer.
Getting in touch with yourself and your greater environment can lead to a healthier, more relaxed and recharged you. Get out, kick off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes today.
It’s important to be aware of your, and that of your family members. Here’s how to recognize distress in others.
Published September 20, 2023