Have you ever experienced it? The true beauty of nature and connection? Take a moment to think back. Can you recall the blissful feeling of warm sand between your toes? Or the soft tickling sensation when long blades of grass dance underneath your feet? There is something special about being barefoot in nature. On a sensory level, this experience can be comforting. However, it can also create a sense of connection and peace. This practice grounds you to the earth and makes you feel more rooted in every aspect of life. Walking barefoot provides a sense of mental clarity and stability – not to mention countless other health benefits! There is no better time to remove those old sneakers, ditch the socks, and fully connect to the beauty of Mother Nature. Still on the fence? Here are four health benefits that might change your mind.
Walking Barefoot Benefit #1: Improved Connection to the Earth
Earthing is a process that involves waking barefoot on the soil, grass, or sand. Essentially, anything that is natural rather than man-made. (Man-made would include surfaces like driveways, concrete areas, or a sidewalk.) The process of earthing allows you to create a physical connection between your body and the ground underneath your feet. It is believed earthing draws electrons up from the ground and moves them into the body.
According to an article from MindBodyGreen, multiple studies indicate a connection exists between the human body and the earth. Studies show that earthing – or being physically connected to Mother Earth – improved overall quality of sleep, aided in pain management, and supported immune function. Though more research still needs to be done on this topic, early studies highlight the power of connection. Earthing creates an undeniable bond between the earth and the physical body. It is a practice well worth making time for.
Barefoot Benefit #2: Added Physical Stability
It doesn’t matter if you are a regular at the gym or you prefer to schedule physical activity at home. Movement does the body good! Something else that benefits the body? Walking barefoot. Shoes have an awful lot of pros. They protect the feet and can provide some much-needed cushioning. However, there are also reasons to slip off the shoes every once and a while.
Certain types of shoes can change the way you use your feet. As a result, taking time to walk barefoot can help you gain better control, improve balance, better your range of motion in both the feet and ankles, increase physical stability, and help your leg muscles become stronger. Though a good supportive pair of shoes has its benefits…taking time for a barefoot walk in the grass every now and then can benefit your feet, ankles, and legs.
Waking Barefoot Benefit #3: Increased Energy Levels
Have you ever noticed how alive you feel when you’re outside? The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the earth feels warm beneath your feet. It is a pure experience like nothing else. Somehow, you feel energetic. Excited. Vibrant. There is a reason for this! Any time you immerse yourself in nature, your body responds to the nurturing energy of Mother Earth.
Simply being in nature makes you feel lighter and more joyful. And yes, it also boosts your energy levels. This is more noticeable when you take time to connect on a deeply physical level by walking barefoot. Even a five to ten minute walk around your backyard can restore your vitality and realign your mind, body, and spirit. More energy is in your future!
Barefoot Benefit #4: Stress and Anxiety Reduction
Life can be stressful. There is always so much going on at home, at work, and with personal relationships. It is no wonder anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million people in the United States alone. There are many coping strategies to consider – and walking barefoot might be one of them. (Essential oils can also be helpful. Be sure to check out the Spirit Earth Magazine article, “Essential Oil Blends for Anxiety – Three Effective Recipes to Try.”) Making time to physically connect to the earth has been found to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety.
How? Studies have shown that people who live in areas with more green space tend to have lower levels of cortisol (often dubbed the stress hormone). Don’t live in a grassy meadow? Not to worry. There are always ways to connect with nature. Stop by a local park, take a day trip to the beach, or use your backyard if you have one. Spending just five minutes a day outside can cut back on stress and anxiety. So, do your best and give it a try.
Staying Safe While Walking Barefoot
There are many reasons to ditch those worn-in sneakers and feel the ground beneath your feet. Just think of all the benefits! From connection to stability, more energy, and reduced feelings of stress and anxiety…walking barefoot is an excellent choice. However, it is important to stay safe. Sure, nature is amazing but there are potential risks to be aware of. Those risks could be anything from a sharp rock, a shell buried under the sand, or something man-made, like a broken bottle or crushed aluminum can. The temperature of the surface should also be considered.
Before you indulge in some much-needed earthing, examine the area for any potential issues. Are there any sharp objects? Is there any trash? What about man-made items? Carefully remove them. Be sure to also consider weather conditions, temperature, and the time of year. Do everything you can to minimize the risk of injury. This will ensure that your barefoot experience is memorable for all the right reasons.
Are you ready to start walking barefoot? Give it a try. A wealth of research indicates this practice is good for both the body and the mind. These benefits are just the beginning! Get ready to uncover even more advantages of connecting to the earth.