Do you sometimes feel “off” or out of balance? Do you crave nature? Then perhaps it’s time for you to learn more about one of the ancient practices in the world called grounding.
What Is Grounding?
Grounding is the process of using the mind-body connection to aid in stress reduction by connecting with the earth’s natural and beneficial energies.
Grounding is based on the simple concept that humans, animals, and plants are electrical beings. We carry an electrical charge that creates a slight electromagnetic field around us. When we enter into contact with the earth’s energy (ground), our electromagnetic energy harmonizes with this natural energy and balances any “stuck” or stagnant chi that may be in our bodies. This orderly flow of qi throughout the body allows for optimal health to be restored.
With our modern lives today, many of us have become separated from nature. We spend most of our time walking on concrete sidewalks, sitting on metal chairs, etc., resulting in a buildup of excess negative ions in our bodies, commonly known as electrons.
For example, when you go outside barefoot onto grass, sand, or dirt regularly, your body will be able to recapture and release excess positive ions and electrons back into the earth’s surface. By being grounded, you are allowing your body to become re-sensitized to its surrounding environment.
When we ground ourselves, we allow our bodies’ innate wisdom (the brain) to begin communicating and clearing blockages, which could be keeping us from reaching optimal health.
Why people do grounding?
Sometimes known as earthing, grounding may offer health benefits. The earth’s negatively charged surface may have a stabilizing effect on the body’s bioelectric circuitry. This helps to normalize a wide variety of physiological processes. Some of the primary benefits include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Normalizing blood pressure
- Improving sleep quality/quantity
- Increasing energy levels (waking refreshed from restful sleep)
- Reducing or eliminating jet lag
- Eliminating muscle tension/headaches
- Alleviating depression
- Optimizing athletic performance
- Alleviating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
In addition, earthing has a profound balancing effect on the activity of the stress response system-the autonomic nervous system (ANS). In fact, earthing might be called anti-stress therapy because it helps to normalize ANS function as indicated by reductions in blood pressure and cortisol levels.
How to ground yourself
The most common way to ground is to look for the earth’s energy. You can find a spot where there is bare soil. You can also ground yourself by touching large pieces of unpolished rock such as granite, limestone, marble, or wood.
You can place your bare feet (or hands) directly on the earth for 5 to 60 seconds and notice how you feel different compared to when they are away from the earth. For example, do you feel lighter? Has your thinking become clearer or more focused?
When you’re ready, you can slowly remove yourself from direct contact with the earth and notice that too. If you have difficulty grounding at first, don’t despair. You can try it again each day until you get it right.
Once connected to the natural energy of the earth, keep some of that energy flowing into your body by holding a piece of unpolished rock in one hand while you place your other hand on the earth again.
If you are standing, hold your hands as if they are both resting comfortably at your sides (don’t let go of the rock!) and allow the energy to flow that way. This will help keep the connection going for a while without much additional effort on your part.
If you don’t have access to earth, engineered hardwood flooring supplies with far-infrared technology can also serve as a substitute. These types of floors may also provide antimicrobial properties. You can then let the energy flow. Think about how good it feels to be in contact with just one aspect of nature.
Lastly, you reconnect. To remove the energetic residue of daily stress from your body, create “a spiritual shower” by visualizing a cleansing fluid (golden rain or white light are common ones) flowing through you and removing all the negative energy in your body. Then imagine filling yourself with fresh, positive energy and let it circulate inside you for several minutes before releasing it back into the universe.
Because grounding is an ongoing practice, take time to do this most days of the week, even if only for five minutes when you first wake up or just before going to sleep at night.
Grounding will not interfere with spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, or journeying. Rather, it can be an effective complement to them.
Grounding is easy to learn (it sometimes comes naturally when we are children) but difficult to master. Like learning to play the piano, it requires some time and practice before you can do it well and without thinking about it. There are no hard-and-fast rules or “shoulds” in grounding-just simple actions that bring more balance into your life if you want them to.