You know the feeling when you come in from a long day swimming in the ocean and hanging out at the beach?
You have salt on your skin, the sun has warmed up your body, and your hair is messy from the water and the waves. How about the feeling of a nice long day at the park?
You have been sitting in the grass with no shoes, throwing or kicking a ball around, or maybe have remnants of paint or chalk in your fingernails from an art project?
You feel a bit dirty and unclean but content and at peace, as you have connected with your childlike spirit, as well as the natural beauty of the world around you. Getting dirty not only feels good but also does so much good for you and the planet.
Why Does It Feel Good to Get Dirty?
Research shows that being outside makes people feel good, not only in our bodies but also in our minds. Scientists have found over and over again that nature has a powerful impact on decreasing anxiety levels, lowering our heart rates, and boosting serotonin. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “scientists are finding that patient diagnoses and chronic illness risk are often related to where an individual lives and their proximity to green spaces.”
Gardening is a way to practice grounding or earthing, as it involves direct contact with the soil. When we garden, we connect with the soil which can provide the same benefits as other forms of grounding, such as reducing inflammation, relieving stress, anxiety, improving sleep, and immune function.
So what is grounding, or earthing and what is the difference between the two? Grounding and earthing are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on the context. In the context of human health, grounding or earthing refers to the process of connecting with the Earth’s surface. The health benefits of grounding are noted as doing wonders to make your mind and body feel at peace.
Some potential health benefits of grounding include:
- Reduced inflammation: Grounding has been found to reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to many chronic health conditions, including arthritis and heart disease.
- Improved sleep: Grounding has been shown to improve the quality of sleep and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. this may be due to the regulation of cortisol, a hormone that affects sleep patterns.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Grounding has been found to lower stress and anxiety levels, possibly by balancing the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the body’s stress response.
- Improved mood: Grounding has been shown to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression by increasing levels of serotonin, an neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation.
- Improved circulation: Grounding may improve blood flow and circulation, which can have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
Overall, grounding may reduce inflammation by increasing the flow of electrons in the body, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It can improve sleep by regulating the circadian rhythm. Earthing may reduce stress by promoting relaxation and reducing the stress hormone cortisol, which also allows grounding to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression to improve one’s mood. Finally, grounding can support a healthy immune system.
It is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind the health benefits of grounding and earthing and how they may vary across different individuals and conditions.
It is no wonder that getting dirty can feel so good, especially when we are constantly surrounded by buildings, concrete, sidewalks, and pavement that remove us from our direct connection with the earth.
Grounding and Gardening
Grounding and earthing go hand in hand with gardening. In fact, gardening is one of the most effective ways to ground yourself, as you are constantly coming into physical contact with soil, earth, rocks, seeds, and plants.
Getting dirty through gardening not only feels good, but is good for the environment. When we get outside and garden, we are giving love and nourishment to the planet, as well as our bodies. Just as we love to be nurtured, held, and nourished, the earth craves those same things.
How can you embrace gardening to allow nature to nurture you and vice verse?
In a literal sense, grounding in gardening goes hand in hand with the process of establishing a strong connection between a plant and the soil it is planted in. This connection is essential for the plant’s growth and development, as it allows the plant to absorb essential nutrients and water from the soil. If a connection between a plant’s roots and the earth’s soil is so vital, why do we not hold ourselves to the same standard?
Plants and humans are both organisms that develop with and around the earth, so let’s begin to treat our bodies the way that we would treat a plant that we want to grow and thrive. Hydration, nutrients, and grounding are all important pillars that should be a top priority for our bodies.
Furthermore, in the metaphorical sense, grounding in gardening refers to the therapeutic benefits that gardening can have for our mental and emotional well-being. Gardening is widely recognized as a calming and centering activity that can help us feel more connected to the natural world and to ourselves. When we take the time to engage in nature and gardening, we can help to reduce stress, increase feelings of happiness and fulfillment, and promote a sense of peace and stability in our lives.
What’s not to love about planting our roots in an activity as fulfilling and life-giving as gardening?
Celebrating The Earth Through Getting Dirty
Gardening is a wonderful and powerful way to celebrate and connect with the Earth. When you garden and spend time with your hands and feet in the dirt, you are actively working to improve the soil, create habitats for beneficial insects and animals, and grow your own food or beautiful flowers.
Getting dirty in this way helps to reduce your carbon footprint and promote biodiversity, which is essential for the health of the planet. If more people spent time thinking about protecting the Earth by growing their own food and pouring oxygen back into the atmosphere, the Earth would be able to take a long sigh of relief.
Furthermore, many people find that their appreciation for the natural world and sense of responsibility for caring for the Earth increases through their time spent gardening. This is what the Earth truly needs – people who feel a deep connection to care for the earth, as it is the only planet we have.
So, whether you have a small balcony garden or a large backyard, consider celebrating the Earth by getting your hands dirty and planting something new. You might be surprised at the positive impact it has on your well-being and the environment.
Get growing and get dirty with Gardenuity!