It’s easy in today’s world to feel disconnected from nature and your own body. Learn all about grounding meditation, or earthing, to help you feel rooted again.
by James Han
When life feels chaotic, stressful or out of your control, it’s easy to break your routines or find your mind and body slipping out of balance.
Grounding meditation is a great way to establish a connection between your body and the energy of the earth — and return your attention to the present moment.
While all forms of meditation in some way help you align with your center and feel more rooted in your own skin and space, spiritual grounding techniques have a long history in ancient philosophical and healing systems like Ayurveda. Here, we’ll walk you through the basics of grounding meditation and offer some tips on how to incorporate it into your life when you’re feeling out of whack.
What Is Grounding Meditation?
Grounding meditation, sometimes referred to as “earthing,” is a therapeutic way of reconnecting with the frequencies of the earth. In a world that is increasingly more fast paced, tech driven and distraction filled, our need to detach from the stress and frenzy around us is even more important for our mental and physical well-being.
Grounding revolves around the idea that our planet has a net “negative” charge, while we have a net “positive” charge. When we spend time in nature — without barriers like carpets, shoes and socks preventing us from actually experiencing Mother Earth with our senses — we can neutralize our electric potential.
Preliminary research actually shows that practicing grounding techniques may have benefits for your health, including reduced inflammation and stress as well as improved circulation. In one study, researchers used grounding patches and mats to see whether or not they could help with post-exercise muscle damage. Blood tests later revealed that the grounding patches and mats indeed reduced muscle damage and discomfort. In another study, 16 bodyworkers who practiced earthing techniques experienced reduced stress and fatigue and other benefits.
Grounding in Ayurvedic Healing
According to Ayurveda, a holistic healing system that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, all people are made up of three doshas, or body types: kapha, vata and pitta. In most cases, one dosha is dominant, though there are people who have two dominant doshas or experience a strong balance of all three (this is known as being tridoshic). While kapha is made of the earth and water elements and pitta is made of fire and water, vata is made of air. In fact, it’s often a vata imbalance that leads to feelings of uprootedness, nervousness and restlessness, and it’s typically triggered by cooler temperatures and stress. Though Ayurveda doesn’t necessarily speak to electric potential, earthing can be a great way to restore balance to your doshas and eliminate excessive “air” in your body.
7 Ways To Practice Spiritual Grounding Techniques
Incorporating grounding techniques into your meditation routine can vary depending on how much time you have in your schedule and where you’re located. (After all, not everyone lives close to a mountain or forest!) The good news is that there are plenty of indoor and outdoor ways to experience grounding, and even just a few minutes can help you find balance.
1. Walking Barefoot on Dirt
The next time you’re in a park or on the beach, make a point of taking off your shoes and socks and walking on the grass, dirt or sand. Take a deep breath in and focus on the sensations of the soles of your feet against the earth. You can even practice a quick visualization, if you want.
2. Going for a Swim in a Natural Body of Water
Swimming pools are great for healthy aerobic exercise, but submerging yourself in a natural body of water like a lake or the ocean can connect you to the earth. Do your research to make sure that you’re only stepping into clean water.
3. Go for a Mud Bath
Mud baths are areas where volcanic ash has combined with natural spring water, and many have existed for thousands of years. If you’re near one, make a trip to experience full-body grounding — and get some skin- and inflammation-soothing benefits at the same time.
4. Go Forest Bathing
Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is an exercise that originated in Japan as a form of ecotherapy. If you live near a forest or woods — or even a shaded park with lots of trees — you can put your own spin on forest bathing. Simply take a barefoot stroll and imagine all the stress in your body evaporating into the trees.
5. Use Grounding Mats and Socks
You can experience the benefits of grounding while you’re doing other things, like sleeping, working, reading and more. Grounding mats, socks, blankets and bands — which you can find online — mimic the electric current of the earth in an indoor setting, like your home or office.
6. Eat Raw, Unprocessed Foods
Though this won’t necessarily align your electric potential with the earth’s, eating fresh, sweet, warming foods can help you feel more grounded. Go to your local farmers market and grab naturally sweet fruits, eat raw nuts straight out of the bag or combine everything with fresh greens and dress it all up with cold-pressed olive oil and a squeeze of citrus.
7. Take CBD With Botanical Essential Oils
You can get into a grounding routine — whether it’s stepping into your backyard for five minutes in the morning or a full-on beach retreat — by taking a dropperful of SLOW, an Ayurvedic tincture made with sweet fennel, basil and orange essential oils and amplified with soothing broad-spectrum CBD. SLOW can help quiet an ungrounded mind and bring you back to the present moment.
To learn more about meditation, Ayurveda and restoring mind-body balance through botanical oils and CBD, check out our blog.
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- How To Use Healing Meditations in Your Daily Ritual
James Han is a writer, editor and content strategist based in Los Angeles. When he’s not deep in a Google Doc, you can find him reading, watching films and taking long walks.
Greatist - Getting Grounded: How Dirt Makes You Happy
Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine - Grounding After Moderate Eccentric Contractions Reduces Muscle Damage
Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing - The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) on Bodyworkers' Pain and Overall Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial
How Stuff Works - Mud Baths
National Geographic - The Secret to Mindful Travel? A Walk in the Woods