You may or may not have heard of “earthing” or “grounding”, a practice that involves connecting the body directly with the ground to help balance a variety of issues. Without going into too much detail, essentially this is accomplished by walking barefoot or sitting on the ground, allowing electrons to move freely between the ground and the body. This is said to improve sleep, focus the mind, decrease stress and pain, and improve overall well-being.
I am not a scientific researcher, and I do not have any revolutionary studies to present to support these claims. I will say however, that after having read about earthing a couple of years ago, I have paid more attention to how I feel before and after walking barefoot outside and I have definitely noticed a difference. After a day at the beach, I often feel more relaxed and sleep more soundly than any other time. The same can be said for a day of hiking or cycling.
Yesterday after work, I was feeling very tired, I had a headache, and my eyes were so dry. I decided to go for a walk so that I could find a tree to sit under and read. Almost as soon as I sat down and took off my shoes, I started to feel better – less tired, headache disappeared and I felt so energized! I am not sure if the same would have happened had I sat on a bench with my feet on the concrete, but I am sure that both my physical and mental state improved with the time outside.
I’ll end with a final observation – part of the beauty of spending time outdoors for me is that I spend less time with a device in my hand. I have the opportunity to put away my phone (except for when I need to take a picture) and just spend time on my own or with someone without the usual interruptions.