Pop culture is filled with ways to keep you grounded psychologically but Biological Psychologist Helena Riess, Ph. D. says that it’s just as important to be physically grounded.
“We’ve gotten away from nature,” Dr. Riess says, “and we don’t even realize the negative impact it has on our health.”
When she refers to the concept of “grounding”, Dr. Riess means actual physical contact with the ground and nature. The benefits can range from the psychological well -being of relaxing in a natural environment to the physical impact of clean air.
Additionally, studies have shown that gardening and contact with bacteria in the soil can have a beneficial impact on human health. Ask any gardener how they feel after a day in the dirt and you can’t help but see the positive impact.
Dr. Riess says she is a firm believer in grounding or “earthing” as a way to control stress and improve overall wellness. Contact with the ground can release negative ions that build up in the body and can counteract the impact of free radicals according to Dr. Riess. She points to Clinton Ober’s groundbreaking book on the subject as the basis for the movement.
She uses a variety techniques to help her and her clients keep in contact with the earth even when engaged in daily activities- such as sleep, work, and even walking.
“The impact on sleep and stress levels is significant,” she notes.