Okay, so this one is going to be a little out there in contrast to the tips that I normally give. I’ll admit that when I first read about this concept I was tempted to roll my eyes and dismiss it as one of those woo-woo hippie things that sometimes float around wellness circles.
There was something about Earthing that intrigued me. At the time I first started hearing about it, I was living with my parents on their acreage in Nebraska. Although I worked in the city every day, I was surrounded at home by miles of farmland, and the nights were deep and quiet, full of sparkling stars and the peaceful sounds of summer on the farm. It seemed unlikely that I would need more connection to nature, but when I really stopped to think about it, I realized that I was spending every day indoors at my desk in front of a screen, that I never took my shoes off, and that I certainly never spent time traipsing barefoot through the grass. Although I was skeptical of the science behind it (and quite frankly, I still kind of am), I decided to kick off my shoes and go walk around outside in the soft green grass of my parents’ backyard to see how it would feel.
Long story short: it was wonderful! The concept of Earthing (also sometimes called Grounding) is based on the idea that we have all become somewhat disconnected from the Earth as most of us don’t spend a lot of time in direct contact with it. As a result, we become fatigued, stressed, and out of sorts. For a lot of us, these symptoms are so normal that we don’t even recognize them in ourselves anymore! The research behind Earthing asserts that the Earth is slightly negatively charged (think electrons) and because in our modern lives we have lost a lot of our physical contact with the Earth, our bodies have built up a more positive charge, which can lead to health issues. Researchers in favor of Earthing claim that by spending time in direct with the Earth, we can start to neutralize this positive charge we’ve built up, thereby relieving some of our symptoms.
Now, a quick internet search will tell you that a lot of people are pretty invested in this. They’ve got Earthing blankets (something about bringing the Earth to you while you sleep) and Earthing patches (think electrode patches where you’ll be hooked up to a grounding rod). I have never tried any of those, so I can’t speak for their legitimacy either way. However, to me, they seem a little fishy, and I think that the only thing you really need is to take your shoes off, grab a book or the newspaper, and head outside — no equipment required!
There is just something about being barefoot and feeling the grass tickling your calves or the dirt between your toes. I don’t know if it’s science or just a feel-good tactic, but either way, it’s definitely a nice opportunity to show yourself some love! Personally, I do feel a lot more grounded and calm after sitting in the grass or walking in the sand, so I encourage you to give it a go and see how you feel after. My guess is you’ll feel pretty rejuvenated!
Namaste and Shabbat Shalom! I’ll see you back here next week.