Go Outdoors Grounding for Health
Inspired by Kayla Williamson’s photography
By Christina Blanchard-Horan, PhD
Have you ever noticed how your mood can take a completely different turn after walking outdoors and taking a deep breath? A walk in the woods can soothe your soul. Studies have shown that simply being outdoors can actually improve your health. Being close to nature or simply touching the earth can be beneficial. You may want to consider Grounding for health and Earthing for health, the same thing close to the earth for your health.
Grounding is also called Earthing and is a way of calming nervous systems. Some studies suggest that by connecting to the Earth’s natural electric charge, earthing can bring tremendous relief and stability on a physiological level. Stimulating blood circulation, energizing your body – even giving you better sleep – it may just be the key to unlocking greater well-being! That is another article. My point is the significance of being outdoors on our mental health.
Exploring outdoors sometimes involves finding the remains of human occupation. Some good, some bad. I was recently inspired by the photography of Kayla Willamson. I love how she captures old things in her images in the lush backdrop of Alabama park landscapes. She has a beautiful eye for framing old things.
Mental Health and The Outdoors
Spending time outdoors and discovering old things can be profoundly beneficial for mental health. It provides an opportunity to connect with nature and history, to be present in the moment, and to gain perspective on the history of life. Old objects carry a sense of nostalgia, which helps us remember meaningful moments from our past that can bring joy and peace. In addition, being in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety by providing a sense of calm. Connecting with old objects found in nature is also an excellent way to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
Finally, old things have stories that are worth telling; they tell us about our past and remind us of how far we have come. When I look at something old, I am reminded that life is made up of moments, some big and some small. Each moment deserves to be appreciated and those moments give meaning to our lives. Old objects can be seen as symbols of resilience and grace. They carry with them a reminder that life moves forward even when it seems like it’s standing still.
By cherishing old things, we can learn from our mistakes, appreciate the beauty of the present moment, and cultivate a sense of hope for the future. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “what is old becomes new again”. By embracing old things, we are honoring not only their stories and memories but also our own. They remind us that life is precious and that beauty can be found in all things, no matter how old. So the next time you come across something old and worn, give it some love—it might surprise you with the stories it has to tell.
Grounding for Health and Relaxation
In recent years, a growing number of people have been advocating for what is known as “grounding,” or earthing. This practice involves direct physical contact with the earth’s surface, usually by walking barefoot on grass or soil. Earthing (grounding) is a remarkable way to restore our vital connection with the Earth, and its benefits are profound. Research has revealed that this practice Grounding for health can provide systemic improvements like reduced inflammation, pain relief, better sleep quality, and improved overall well-being – often quite quickly! All it takes is simple activities such as strolling barefoot outdoors or using affordable in-home grounding systems while sleeping or sitting. A growing body of evidence consisting of over 20 studies supports these effects; further demonstrating just how powerful connecting ourselves back with nature really is.
Many people find that spending time outdoors can be beneficial for both their mental and physical well-being. Taking a walk in nature or simply sitting on the ground can provide a sense of calm and clarity. For those looking to reap the potential health benefits of grounding, it’s important to remember that it is not intended as a replacement for medical treatment or advice. However, it could be used as an additional form of intervention to support physical and mental health. Getting out into nature more often can also help to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. So, if you’re looking for ways to incorporate more relaxation into your life, why not give grounding a try? You may just find yourself feeling happier and healthier in no time!
Grounding has many potential benefits that are worth exploring further. It could become part of a regular routine to help promote feelings of peace and relaxation while also supporting physical health. Research is still being conducted to determine the exact effects of grounding, but it seems promising. Let’s explore that a little more.
Studies on Earthing
Studies showed that earthing can help the nervous system work better. Earthing or Grounding changes electricity in the body and brain, so it helps them to work correctly. The 2011 research findings by Sokal and Sokal report “Empirical data showed that earthing significantly influences on the electrical activity of the brain. Neuromodulatory effects of earthing may be observed in disorders associated with pain, in epilepsy where electrical hyperactivity of selected nervous cells take place, in spasticity, in movement disorders.” A great argument to use Grounding for Health strategies.
In another study scientists reported in 2015 the effect of earthing on inflammation, the immune response to wound healing, and the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. So in this study, researchers show that Grounding can reduce pain and alter the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, and also affect various circulating chemical factors related to inflammation. If this is the case, Earthing or Grounding may have potential to effect diseases involving inflammation and autoimmune systems, such as Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or other blood and bone diseases, other possibilities are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Advocate for Outdoors
Whether you are taking a hike or sitting on the ground “earthing”, there is no doubt that a change occurs when you walk outside of enclosed spaces. Something natural.
Even team energy changes when you change the environment. Some experts who work on training and brain work like to take their teams outside because of the mood-changing qualities of the outdoor setting.
If you are feeling anxious at work or around the house, step outside and take a deep breath or two. Look at nature or the sky to feel connected to all that is. It will help change your mood.
Paweł Sokala,⇑, Karol Sokal, The neuromodulative role of earthing retrieved 1/8/2023 from Medical Hypothoses.
Oschman JL, Chevalier G, Brown R. The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. J Inflamm Res. 2015 Mar 24;8:83-96. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S69656. PMID: 25848315; PMCID: PMC4378297.
Wendy Menigoz, Tracy T. Latz, Robin A. Ely, Cimone Kamei, Gregory Melvin, Drew Sinatra, Integrative and lifestyle medicine strategies should include Earthing (grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical observations,
EXPLORE, Volume 16, Issue 3, 2020, Pages 152-160,
ISSN 1550-8307, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2019.10.005.
Keywords: Earthing; Grounding for Health; Electron deficiency