What Is Grounding? Spiritual Meaning and Healing Benefits

Written by Sammi Caramela
Published: October 25, 2023
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You’ve likely heard of the concept of being “grounded,” which we often use to describe a balanced, sensible person. A similar idea is the practice of “grounding,” which describes direct contact with the Earth to help us feel more connected and regulated.

Also called “earthing,” grounding has become a popular way to connect with the Earth and practice mindfulness. When coming into direct, skin-to-skin contact with nature, many people experience a sense of physical and emotional ease. In fact, research supports evidence of such improvements in both mental and physical health as a result of grounding.

Thankfully, grounding is a simple practice that doesn’t require much aside from yourself and nature. Keep reading to learn more about grounding, its spiritual meaning, its many healing benefits, and some simple earthing techniques to implement. 

What Is Grounding?

Grounding is an underresearched, potentially therapeutic technique that involves connecting the body to the Earth. There are a variety of ways you can “ground” yourself, from standing barefoot on the soil to submerging yourself in a natural body of water. These strategies are meant to connect you with nature by following the concepts of earthing science and grounding physics. 

Research supports the idea that Earth’s electrical charges can positively affect your body and, in turn, your mind. In fact, many experts compare grounding to “charging” your body, as you would charge your phone or other device. 

Spiritual Meaning of ‘Grounding’

Many spiritual individuals refer to the idea of “grounding” as a way to self-soothe. If you’re experiencing racing thoughts or anxiety, you might benefit from making direct contact with the Earth around you. Spiritually speaking, this helps foster a connection with nature and Earth’s energy. It’s also a form of mindfulness, helping you be present and in tune with your senses. 

Because spirituality involves connecting with something or some energy higher than your own, many people view the Earth and nature as access to that “spirit.” If you’ve ever felt compelled to hug a tree, lie in the grass, or swim in the ocean, you likely recognize that instinctive urge we all have to connect with the world around us. Grounding can foster an incredible healing experience.

a barefooted woman in ethnical clothes carries in her hand a clay jug

Walking barefoot on the ground is a great way to connect with the Earth and its energy.

©Evgeny Haritonov/Shutterstock.com

Healing Benefits of Grounding

Further research must be done to prove the healing benefits of grounding. However, some existing studies support the notion that grounding has the following benefits.

1. Improves Mental Health

It’s no surprise that connecting with nature can uplift your spirits, but practicing grounding can be even more impactful. In fact, research found that just one hour of contact with the Earth can improve the mood more than expected by relaxation alone. Many experts believe grounding helps with anxiety-related disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even dissociation. This is likely because grounding helps us reconnect with the present moment and the Earth around us.

2. Lower Blood Pressure

Some research suggests that grounding helps to lower blood pressure, contributing to better cardiovascular health. One such study measured patients’ blood pressure at baseline in the clinic and three subsequent times (at monthly intervals) after starting grounding practices. 

According to Howard K. Elkin and Angela Winter,

All 10 patient measurements were found to be significantly improved at the end of the trial period, and some, well before the end. Systolic levels decreased during this time, ranging individually from 8.6% to 22.7%, with an average decrease of 14.3%.
Health, exercise and yoga with senior man doing ground stretching before meditation and wellness workout. Fitness, relax and floor warm up by elderly male start healthy cardio training in living room

Research suggests that grounding techniques can actually help improve your overall health and well-being.

©PeopleImages/iStock via Getty Images

3. Reduces Inflammation

Grounding techniques are also believed to reduce inflammation within the body. This can help alleviate pain and contribute to recovery. 

According to Stephen T. Sinatra, Drew S. Sinatra, Stephen W Sinatra, and Gaetan Chevalier,

When earth connection is restored through grounding, electrons flood throughout the body, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress while also reinforcing the body’s own defense mechanisms. Electron transfers are the basis of virtually all antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. And the earth may very well be the ultimate supplier! When the supply is restored, humans have the potential to thrive. Touching our skin to the earth is perhaps the perfect natural anti-inflammatory supporting biochemical and physiological effects that enhance healing. 

4. Boosts the Immune System

Our immune systems play a crucial role in our health and healing, as they help us fight germs and other harmful substances that can make us ill. Experts believe grounding techniques can contribute to a better-functioning immune system.

James L. Oschman, Gaétan Chevalier, and Richard Brown state that,

Multi-disciplinary research has revealed that electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (grounding or earthing) produces intriguing effects on physiology and health. Such effects relate to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Simple Grounding Techniques to Practice

There are many different ways you can practice grounding. Essentially, anything that involves direct contact with the Earth is considered grounding. Here are a few common and specific ways to ground yourself in nature.

1. Standing or Walking Barefoot on the Ground

An easy way to practice grounding is by taking your socks and shoes off and standing on the ground. You can stand barefoot in the grass, dirt, or sand, or you can walk barefoot around your yard, an open field, or a beach. While doing so, really tune into your senses. Feel the Earth beneath your feet, the sun beaming on your face. Inhale the scents of nature around you. Listen to the wind rustling the trees. Be present in and mindful of the moment.

2. Submerging Yourself in Water

Fully submerging yourself in water is a great way to connect with the Earth. To get the most benefits from this grounding technique, consider swimming in a lake or ocean, as these bodies of water have direct contact with the Earth. Pay attention to how the water makes you feel. Is it warm or cold? Does it feel gentle on your skin, or is it invigorating? Let yourself float and absorb the water’s energy.

Senior man swimming in the Sea/Ocean - enjoying active retirement, having fun, taking care of himself, staying fit

Swimming in the ocean is a simple yet effective way to connect with nature and ground yourself.

©l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock.com

3. Lying in the Grass

Grounding can be as simple as lying in the grass, allowing your body to connect with the ground beneath you. A great way to get the most out of this exercise is to imagine your body is growing roots deep into the Earth while the sun or moon above you is charging your body. This meditative practice can help calm your nervous system and help you feel more present in the moment.

4. Gardening

Gardening (especially barefoot) is another enjoyable way to practice grounding. As you care for different plants in your garden, you are connecting with the Earth and its living things. You’re coming into direct contact with the soil and maintaining a flourishing garden of life. What better way to ground yourself with nature? While gardening, practice mindfulness by expressing gratitude for your plants and taking your time while caring for them. 

Grounding: An Effective Healing Technique

Connecting with the Earth through direct contact is a simple yet beneficial way to take care of your health. Whether you’re looking to improve your physical health or ease your everyday anxiety and stress, practicing grounding techniques can positively impact your body, mind, and spirit. Make time in your daily routine to prioritize grounding, and you’ll likely notice positive changes in your overall well-being.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © pxel66/iStock via Getty Images


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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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