How Can Grounding Help with Stress?

It’s an ancient technique steadily growing in popularity in our post-pandemic quest for better physical and mental health. Here’s everything you need to know about grounding and how to do it…

What is grounding?

Grounding, otherwise known as earthing, is the practice whereby you connect with the earth’s innate energy by standing or walking barefoot outside. You can also practise and experience similar effects inside via a special grounding mat that connects to a power point.

What is grounding used for?

The idea behind the theory is that by connecting barefoot to the earth, we’re able to connect with its natural electric charge. The electrons that emanate from the earth are great foils to the free radicals that we produce and that we’re exposed to, helping to reduce their inflammatory properties and restore a balance to our own bodily current.

How do you practise grounding?

The brilliance of grounding is how easy, convenient and accessible it is. Although it does require a natural surface, that can be grass, natural sock, soil or sea, so the opportunities are plentiful.

When should you practise grounding?

While as much as you can manage is great, grounding aficionados extol the balancing benefits of a regular 20-minutes session twice a day. As for when you do it, it’s up to you; while some may find first thing helpful as a way of starting their day off on a positive foot, others may find the sense of peace a welcome antidote in the middle of an otherwise frenetic day.

How can grounding help with stress?

Even if you’re not convinced by the electrical premise of grounding, there are few who would dispute the associated benefits of getting out into nature. As well as its numerous health benefits – lower BMI, improved eyesight and vision, optimal nervous system function amongst many more – being outdoors is shown increasingly to have a positive impact on our wellbeing too. Being outside in a natural environment helps promote a reduction in feelings of stress and anxiety thanks to its ability to boost serotonin. In addition, walking mindfully will help benefit your mental health and provide a welcome distraction from racing thoughts and rising anxiety levels. Grounding is also thought to help improve sleep, a lack of which is often part of the vicious circle of stress. A 2018 study by King's College London found that exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong is beneficial to our psychological health while author Richard Louv, author of ‘Last Child in the Woods’ explains the nature-deficit disorder (ie. the loss of connections to their natural environment) as a major reason for compromised mental and spiritual health.