Friends on the beach

Explainer: WTF Is Earthing?

It sounds a little woo-woo, but "earthing" or "grounding" can have serious benefits to your state of mind—and it's easy to do anywhere.

You may have seen wellness groups talking about "grounding" or "earthing" and thought, "Okay, wait, what is earthing? And should I get grounded?"

Grounding or earthing is a small but growing belief that standing on, lying on, or even touching a natural surface for 15+ minutes can restore energy and focus, and make you feel more connected to your body and the world. Miranda Kerr and Gwyneth Paltrow do it regularly (because of course they do) but look—we do it, too, and we’ve found it actually helps make us a little more centered. Also, unlike a lot of wellness treatments, it’s totally free :)

Want to try? Here’s how.

Got a lawn, or a clean patch of grass at a local park? Great! Kick off your shoes and stand right on it, or place your hands gently on the ground and take deep breaths. You can also google "regenerative farms near me" to visit your nearest one. Studies show running your hands through grass can help calm you down. Plus, standing on grass can help connect you with mycobacterium vaccae, a type of healthy bacteria found in soil, that can help trigger the release of serotonin, a hormone linked to positive moods. (Sex also triggers this, JSYK.)

MUD ☂️
Sometimes, you can save grounding for a rainy day. Studies show that jumping in puddles or mud can help boost immunity and gut health… but even if you’re just in it for the oddly satisfying squish noises that your feet make in the ground, you’re still reaping the benefits of spending fun time outside in nature.

When water is in motion (think waves, waterfalls, or even jets in a bathtub), its movement generates negative ions through a phenomenon called “spray electrification.” Studies have shown that it helps lower depression and anxiety, and heighten focus—which is kind of crazy, until you realize being in or around water is a huge part of human wellbeing. Don’t live near a beach or stream? Don’t worry—hop in the shower or sit on the edge of your tub with the water running on your feet, breathe deep, and float on.

“But I don’t wanna go outside!” We get it; some days, it’s hard to even get out of bed. If you have a marble or concrete floor, get barefoot and get ready to feel some benefits. That’s because placing your bare feet or hands directly on the ground for at least 30 minutes a day can help with pain reduction, sleep dysfunction, respiratory problems, and more, according to a 2012 study.

Please do not stand on your cat or dog. Instead, sit next to them and stroke their fur for just 10 minutes, and you can get a reduction in stress and even pain, according to a Canadian study. (And every cute puppy video ever.)