Have you ever sat in nature and felt your whole body untangle? Felt the tensions, stress and knots in your muscles just melt? Felt happy and content?
That is the healing power of nature. I simply love the outdoors, walking, hiking, strolling, swimming or just sitting and taking it all in. This is my favourite time of the year. It really feels like there is magic in the air. The extra crisp mornings and evenings showcasing the most beautiful and multicoloured skies at dawn and dusk. In this autumnal air it is like Mother Nature is putting on one last show of beauty and magnificence before the short evenings set in and we nestle down to hibernate for the winter.
It is often with a change in season that people are inspired to get out in nature. If we think back to spring when we were falling over our own feet to get out after a long, cold winter. Then again when the warm summer days graced us for longer than we are used to here in Ireland. Amazing shots from all over our stunning little country flooded our social media pages and everyone was grateful and proud to call it home.
Many people can think of a time, when their emotional state and mood shifted significantly just from being in nature. For me this happens every time. It’s the peace and quiet, the birds chirping, the hills and trees and the ebb and flow of the tide that syncs and reconnects me to Mother Nature and to the present moment also. I feel the rhythm of nature has the familiarity and peace of our own heartbeat and it brings us back to a place within ourselves that we can be content and truly connected. We forget how connected we are with nature and the cycles held within. We see ourselves as above or better than nature because of our advanced technology and evolution. We ignore that nature has had it all figured out long before us. In truth, we are one in the same, nourished by earth, facing the sun and living in cycles and seasons.
It is not just a better feeling we get from being in nature, continued research has proven the positive impact nature has on our whole body. Being in nature can reduce stress, improve fitness, increase connection and happiness, quiet the mental chatter, bring more mindfulness and clarity to us while encouraging us to take time away from technology. It can also benefit our sleep, a day’s hiking or breathing in the fresh sea air is a sure way to sleep well that night.
Grounding and earthing literally is reconnecting with the ground beneath us and drawing energy from the natural and physical world we live in. The simple act of walking barefoot at the beach or through the grass can have huge benefits to our health.
Grounding helps us to slow the monkey chatter in our brain and to let go of some or all of the stresses of modern-day life. In a world that encourages us to stay in our head 24/7, stay switched on to work, to emails, TV, Social Media and a litany of other demands, we need grounding more than ever.
Significant research has been carried out on the more intricate health benefits of grounding and earthing. Connecting with the earth can have profound impacts on a deeper energetic and cellular level. Our bodies use energy in different ways for different functions.
“In the body, thermal energy helps us to maintain a constant body temperature, mechanical energy helps us to move, and electrical energy sends nerve impulses and fires signals to and from our brains. Energy is stored in foods and in the body as chemical energy”. Ms. Ashley Koff, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics
Grounding and earthing can help us to neutralise the free radicals (unstable molecules that cause damage and inflammation) in our body and has been proven to reduce inflammation which is the cause of most disease within the body. It can also improve and enhance blood circulation, giving us more energy, more access to nutrients and greater efficiency at eliminating waste from the body. If you think of the electrical wiring in a plug, there is a grounding wire that protects the appliance from surges in electricity that might otherwise be dangerous. In grounding our own electrical circuits, within our bodies, we can prevent inflammation and damage from occurring.
To learn more about the benefits of earthing and grounding watch this trailer from the documentary The Grounded , the full version is also available on You tube.
Here are some ideas to get more grounded;
- Go for a walk in nature – the woods, mountains, in a local park.**
- Stand in your bare feet in the grass/ soil/sand for 5-10 minutes per day. Be present and soak in the whole experience.
- Stand with your feet in the sand and allow the water to lap around your feet. Go for a swim in the sea if you are brave enough…I promise it is worth it.
- Hiking – Ireland is known for its beauty and although the mountains are not high on a global scale there is no denying that the views are epic. **
- Find a spot you LOVE surrounded in nature and preferably close to your home/ work. Go there as often as you can and simply be one with nature and your breath.
- Grounding Meditation -Try this 10 minute Grounding Meditation.
**Always be careful when venturing out in nature, make sure you have the right equipment and tools to stay on track and are safe on your trail. There are lots of guides and groups that you can join and learn from. Don’t be silly and put yourself in danger.**