Welcome to Wellness Wednesday
Welcome to the first Wellness Wednesdays feature! If you watch my Youtube Videos, you may have heard me chatting lately about various wellness focused topics this year, from improving my gut health, the benefits of cold water therapy, grounding and glucose monitoring! I wanted to share everything in one place, so introducing the new series here on the blog; ‘Wellness Wednesdays’. Basically, my idea was that each Wednesday, I could share whatever I’ve been learning about that week on the topic of wellness. Some weeks I may share book recommendations, other weeks I may share a healthy recipe that I love. I often get a lot of inspiration from podcasts too – so I’ll be sharing all of my favourites. This week to kick things off, I’m going to be talking about grounding!
Why my new favourite thing to do is ‘Grounding’ – and why you should try it to!
I first heard about ‘grounding’ on a podcast with Dr Rangan Chatterjee – his podcast Feel Better Live More is one of the best wellness podcasts out there and I love listening to his chats with various experts during long car journeys and commutes! For me, understanding the scientific and often medical ‘evidence’ behind a lot of these wellness topics really helps me to understand them to a deeper level, and Rangoon often goes into this level of detail within his chats.
So, what on earth (no pun intended!!) is grounding?! Grounding or earthing is a technique which involves physical contact between your body and the ground, such as by walking on the earth with bare feet or submerging one’s self in water; as a way to connect yourself to the power of the Earth’s electrical energy. It’s a concept which has existed for thousands of years across several cultures, including ancient Chinese civilisations and within Native American culture, but has recently filtered into modern Western culture, and is viewed in a similar way to activities such as mindfulness and meditation.
I first heard about grounding in a podcast, and have since tried it for myself. In the mornings, I walk outside on my lawn with bare-feet and have a peaceful moment listening to the bird song and connecting with nature – sounds a little crazy? Well, read on for the benefits that grounding is believed to bring us (aside from the joy of getting out in nature first thing in the morning!).
The top 4 benefits of grounding
The following benefits have been reported by scientific studies, however, grounding is an area that requires more research, so just give it a go and see if you find it beneficial! It’s free!
1 – Connect with nature
Use grounding as a chance to spend a moment outside, listening to the bird song and feeling the soft grass under your feet. Spending time in nature has been proven to be beneficial for your mental health and can help lift your mood.
2 – Use it as an opportunity to practise mindfulness
To get even more of a benefit from the experience, while grounding yourself, you could add in a moment of mindfulness. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, focus on the present moment and bring your attention to the sensations in your body and your current feelings.
3 – Reduce inflammation
There is some evidence that grounding can improve the health and reactivity of the immune system, and through this mechanism it can also reduce harmful inflammation.
4 – Reduce stress and improve your mood
Grounding has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol circulating in your blood, and as cortisol is a stress hormone, reducing cortisol levels helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can help to improve your mood.
What on Earth?! How to do it.
It really is as simple as it sounds, get outside, and get in contact with the earth. In our homes and work places, the floor and our footwear creates a barrier between our bodies and the earth, so grounding is simply reconnecting with the earth. Everything from walking or standing barefoot (20 minutes is perfect!) to getting your hands covered in soil (this might explain why I feel so chilled while gardening!) is an act of grounding.
As we realign our ‘energy’ with the earth, we feel more relaxed and our inflammation levels are reduced (apparently?!) – I think it’s certainly worth a try and any excuse to get out into nature is a huge plus for me. So, from now on – when you spot me gardening with no shoes on – you’ll know why!
Wild swimming is a fantastic way to ground yourself; you’re completely submerged in water that’s connected to the earth – and what an exhillerating experience! For those who live in a city and might get some peculiar looks from walking around barefoot, you can actually get grounding mats and even bed sheets and shoes which enable you to connect yourself with the earth!
Want to know more? Here are some books and podcasts that I’ve enjoyed or would recommend;