Millions of people across the country struggle with some kind of mental or emotional health issue, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and stress-related insomnia. Collectively, we are taking over 270 million prescriptions a year for anti-depressants alone, and spending our hard-earned cash on extensive therapy. And while these things can be tremendously helpful in the right circumstances, there are many other ways to achieve optimal brain and body balance. Alternative therapies like Reiki, acupuncture, herbalism, and therapeutic massage have all shown to be very beneficial to people struggling with mental health issues. But the good news doesn’t stop there! New research on earthing (aka grounding) shows amazing promise as a healing modality for mind, body, and spirit. If you aren’t familiar with earthing and how it works, check out my first blog post in the series here. As we approach Earth Day this week, I wanted to dig even deeper (pun intended) to how connecting with the Earth’s energy can help you heal, especially from an emotional perspective. Our nervous system is incredibly complex, and controls everything from our stress levels to our moods at any given moment. And since earthing is an electromagnetic force, it works directly with the nervous system to encourage balance in both body and brain, and is a great addition to any holistic wellness plan.
There are lots of ways that tuning into the Earth’s healing current can help you feel better, but here are five examples of how it can boost your mental and emotional health!
- It reduces symptoms of PTSD
For anyone with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, triggering events often lead to a biochemical cascade in the brain, which activates the “fight or flight” response. In severe cases, it can be nearly impossible to stop this cycle, leading to panic attacks, social isolation, and additional phobias. Earthing has been shown to reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream, making nerves less excitable, making a calmer environment in the mind, and reducing the frequency and severity of panic attacks.
- It improves sleep quality
Sleep is intricately connected to mood, so it’s no wonder that poor sleep quality is linked to things like worsening depression and irritability. In both formal studies and in personal testimonials, people have reported a noticeable improvement in their ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed after trying earthing. This can keep neurotransmitter levels balanced, boost mental stamina, and make everyday stressors easier to deal with. Our brains do a lot of healing while we are asleep (especially in REM sleep), so getting better zzz’s is important to overall mental health and emotional balance.
- It reduces inflammation
Chronic, low-level inflammation has been identified in dozens of common disease processes, and mental health issues are no exception. Want to learn more about the link between inflammation and your health first? Check out our blog here. Mental and emotional imbalances like depression, anxiety, amnesia, OCD, and ADHD all have some level of inflammation that contributes to their particular decline pattern. When you practice grounding every day, you can help protect your body and brain from runaway inflammation, and keep your mental processes running smoothly.
- It boosts serotonin levels
One of the most powerful “feel good” hormones that we have is serotonin, and this little molecule is important in regulating our mood, appetite, and pain tolerance. The largest group of drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mood disorders are the SSRI’s, which increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. And now we know that Mother Nature can do that naturally! Regular earthing sessions improve the serotonin feedback loop in the brain, reducing things like negative or obsessive thoughts, crying spells, chronic pain, and depressive symptoms.
- It fosters compassion
A side note to many studies on the mental and emotional effects of earthing shows that, post-earthing, the vast majority of people experience a feeling of peace, calm, and kindness towards themselves and others. This may be due to the favorable change in brain chemistry after grounding, or a reduction in the stress response. But it also could be that the frequency of the Earth is something that binds us all together, and something that heals every living thing at the same time. Whatever magical vibrations lie under our feet, they can help us feel more compassionate and optimistic, and those are two qualities that we can all agree the world could use more of!
Earthing is such a easy way to support your body and mind’s natural healing mechanisms, and you don’t even need to stand outside barefoot to take advantage of these benefits. I’ve been using an earthing mat on my table for a couple of months now, and people are loving it! If you want to hear some of what my clients are saying about it, check out last week’s blog here.
You can come and try it out for yourself, and even take one home with you if you love it! Book your appointment today and take my earthing mat for a spin!