Healing and Grounding Yourself Through Nature

Under all the noise and beneath the street pavements, lights, cars, and buildings lies nature. Ironically, nature can seem invisible. Comfortable with our daily routines of work, school, and binging Netflix, we consume ourselves in distractions. While we are a part of nature, we often take it for granted. We can regulate our systems by coming into contact with nature and connecting with our natural selves.  

Grounding yourself not only allows you to be present and aware, but it also contains many health benefits. The electrical charges from the Earth are scientifically proven to recharge and heal our bodies. Here are a couple of ways to rejuvenate your well-being through the Earth's energy. 

Walk Barefoot on the Ground

One of the most effective ways to ground yourself is to literally feel the ground. Take off your shoes, and touch the earth's surface. Soak up the minerals from the dirt or sand to feel rooted in nature's soil. You can do this at the park, your backyard, a garden, beach, forest, or any place with safe and natural ground. The best time for this practice is toward the end of the day to restore your nervous system and regulate your circadian rhythm, helping with sleep and relaxation. Contact with the Earth creates both physical and mental stability, as well as balance. 

Other health benefits include increasing red blood cells and decreasing white blood cells, strengthening your immunity (a vital advantage during a global pandemic). 

Nature walks 

The phrase "walk it off" is associated with a cathartic process that allows people to regain a sense of control and relaxation. We reorganize our thoughts, reflect, find a sense of clarity, and sometimes even inspiration. But why does this happen?

We separate ourselves from chaos and find a sense of tranquility, increasing self-awareness with the awareness of our environment. Health benefits shown from scientific research demonstrates that nature walks:

  • Speed the process of recovery

  •  Reduce blood pressure

  • Decrease cortisol levels (a stress hormone)

  •  Lower feelings of depression  

  • Decrease the risk of cancer.

In Japan, nature walks in forests are a common form of preventive treatment and health care. A Medical School in Tokyo also discovered that trees and plants emit a compound that changes blood composition to protect against cancer and boost the immune system. 

Find a hiking trail, or walk on the beach to expose yourself to nature's healing abilities.

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Meditation in Nature 

The psychological benefits of immersing yourself in nature include improving memory function and decreasing anxiety and rumination. 

Practicing mindfulness and meditation within nature revitalizes your spirits and refocuses your thinking pattern. You don't always have to sit in silence to meditate; meditation can be active. You can meditate while walking, noticing the color of the sky, listening to the birds, or focusing on the shape of a tree. We immerse ourselves in nature's rhythm by focusing on our surroundings. If a distracting thought enters your mind, view the thought as a cloud passing by, don't attach to it, just notice it. 

You can think about how your environment influences your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. We can do this with our eyes closed or open, listening to the wind, feeling the texture of leaves, or smelling a flower. If you don’t know how to start, there are guided nature meditations. You can even journal or write about what you see and how your body responds to Earth's energy. We regain focus by learning how to concentrate on the present, fighting the overwhelming urge to ruminate over past and future concerns. 

woman meditating on the beach Photo by Simon Rae from Unspash

Stargaze

Stargazing is known as a romantic and intimate activity with a friend or partner. According to a 2014 study, stargazing also establishes a sense of intimacy with nature. Participants in the study reveal experiencing positive emotions when stargazing. Looking at the many stars in the sky, we may feel small. We realize the bigger picture by seeing how small and minor our worries can be. We are a part of a planet floating in the middle of space!We can learn to admire the fact that we live in a miracle. We can open ourselves to feeling appreciation and gratitude for Earth's existence and just for breathing.

Stars behind tall trees Photo by Josh Frenette from Unsplash Rooted in urban lifestyles and routines, we forget our natural roots within nature. Listening to wildlife and acknowledging Mother Nature's abilities shifts our perspective and overall behavior. Once we center ourselves, we realize that our worries are not the center of the universe—the Earth is. The Earth is precious, and so are you, so let's take care of both! 

 

Sources:

https://treesisters.org/blog/ten-ways-to-ground-yourself-in-nature 

https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/ 

https://www.yesmagazine.org/health-happiness/2019/04/10/health-nature-science-outside/ 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494413000959