Did you know that the simple act of allowing your bare feet to touch the earth can help with sleep, reduce stress and reduce inflammation? It’s true—and there are scientific studies to back it up.
Going barefoot is definitely a personal preference; many people either love it or hate it. I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I definitely prefer trudging around in my flip flops, whereas my husband who thinks nothing of wandering across rocky ground with no shoes. (Just thinking of it makes me wince!)
Having said all of that, I do find feeling grass under my toes to be somewhat therapeutic; it just kind of feels, well, natural. I am even happy tip-toeing through the sand, so long as it isn’t too hot. So why is this earthing and grounding so beneficial for us?
The theory is that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the earth at regular intervals, to balance out the positive electrons that build up in our body in the form of free radicals. By being in contact with the earth, our bodies become negatively charged which is considered better for our health.
This wasn’t too much of an issue for our ancestors historically, as they spent more time outdoors, and, of course, walked everywhere. In our modern day lives, however, certain technological factors (like exposure to WiFi and mobile phones) make our bodies, which carry electrical energy, more prone to a buildup of the positive protons that can prove ultimately detrimental for our health.
Dr. Laura Koniver, MD believes that even just a small amount of contact with the earth can generate instantaneous changes to our bodies, such as the immediate drop of muscle tension. If you can take the time to ground yourself each day, you’ll likely see improvements in your energy levels, sleep, inflammation and chronic pain, adrenal health, and menstrual and hormonal issues for women. Preliminary studies have been carried out on the effects that grounding has on cortisol levels and inflammation.
So how, exactly, can you get those negatively charged free electrons surging through your body?
If the weather allows, head off into the outdoors to do your yoga session. Work on the grass or sand instead of using your yoga mat. Walk barefoot to collect the mail or take out the trash. Do a bit of stargazing on a clear night sans shoes, go paddling on a lake—or even embrace your inner hippie and go hug a tree! (Hey, why not?)
There are so many ways to get out to connect with nature and ground yourself but if you are really struggling, you can look to purchase earthing sheets or an earthing mat, both of which are particularly helpful if you work on a computer for much of the day.
Maybe being grounded isn’t so bad after all!
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