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Grounding and Anxiety: How Earthing Can Lower Your Stress Levels




Nearly everyone feels more relaxed after grounding activities and time in nature, but how does this apply to the epidemic of anxiety plaguing society today? Believe it or not, the scientific community has quite a bit to say on this topic. 

Grounding Explained: Research Studies & Health Benefits

Grounding, also commonly referred to as Earthing, is a technique that involves connecting bare skin directly to the Earth for health benefits including improved sleep, feelings of peace/relaxation, regulated cortisol cycles, and more. For example, in a study of middle aged workers who were forced to “unplug” in nature—an ancient Japanese practice called Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing—researchers measured improvement in mood, blood pressure, heart rate, and autonomic functions after a single 2-hour experience (a). Let's examine how this works and the evidence behind it.

Grounding activities, such as forest bathing, place direct contact between the earth and the human body. This contact allows for electron transfer that restores our body’s natural slightly negative charge and recharges the body battery. (for more on this, check out the intro to grounding article). 

Now recall that in terms of physics and chemistry, the loss of electrons causes oxidation. Oxidation is a lot like rust, and emotional stress and anxiety are key contributors to oxidative stress in our body. They waste energy and ions, especially magnesium.  In small, acute amounts stress and anxiety are normal, even productive. Chronically unchecked though, they lead to disease. In fact, the six leading causes of death in the US: cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide, are all linked to emotional stress (2).  

Grounding Anxiety: How Earthing Helps Stress and Cortisol Levels

So, anxiety is caused by stress and stress causes oxidation (loss of electrons) in the body. Recall now that grounding is plugging back into the earth and receiving its electrons in a slow trickle. In chemistry terms we would call this reduction. Yes, grounding reduces oxidation caused by stress. No wonder it feels so good. It is nature’s most abundant antioxidant. 

Convincing evidence demonstrates that grounding helps regulate cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone of the human body. It is the main chemical signal for stress, and ideally it follows a predictable pattern peaking in the morning with another small peak in the afternoon. Researchers monitored serial cortisol levels in participants before and after sleeping on a grounding pad or mattress. The cortisol levels before grounding varied wildly and spiked high. After the grounding, the cortisol levels demonstrated realignment and normalization. Below we see this normalization trend quite clearly (3)

In another small, double blinded study investigating grounding impact on general well being, sleep, and chronic pain, subjects slept on conductive mattresses then were divided into a grounded and sham group (i.e., the material connected to the ground was not actually conductive). Although the sample size is small, the results demonstrate very significant differences in the grounded vs. sham groups. Test subjects demonstrated impressive improvements in time to fall asleep, quality of sleep, waking feeling rested and general wellbeing. 78% of the subjects reported better general wellbeing and 85-100% of grounded subjects reported sleep improvements (4).

Whenever we are talking about health, there is always a risk benefit ratio to consider. In the case of grounding the risk is almost zero, short of a lightning storm hitting the spike. Unlike many treatments or technologies, the cost barrier to entry is very small. One can get a conductive sheet and copper wire for well under $100. 

So, Does Grounding Actually Help with Anxiety?

Now we have enough info to answer the question: Does grounding help with anxiety? Yes, it seems to improve anxiety and much more. That said there is more to the story than simply grounding. 

Consider a human standing outside in nature. That human is exposed to countless fields: light spectrum (visible and invisible), sounds of nature, weather, plant and animal life, elements, etc. Big fields including the earth, moon, and gravity also exert their effects on the body. Just look at what happens to astronauts when they remain in space for long periods of time. The negative effects (adiposity, bone demineralization, disorientation, dizziness, time dilation, etc) cannot be explained solely by gravitational changes. To combat these effects, NASA pumps artificial frequencies into rockets and space stations to simulate the effect of the earth and atmospheric fields. At NES, we use these frequencies to regulate the human body as well. It works like providing patches or updates to the electromagnetic operating system in our body. 

In the end, everyone should spend time not just grounding, but bathing in nature for all its restorative and healing benefits.

  1. Furuyashiki A, Tabuchi K, Norikoshi K, Kobayashi T, Oriyama S. A comparative study of the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) on working age people with and without depressive tendencies. Environ Health Prev Med. 2019 Jun 22;24(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12199-019-0800-1. PMID: 31228960; PMCID: PMC6589172.
  2. Salleh MR. Life event, stress and illness. Malays J Med Sci. 2008 Oct;15(4):9-18. PMID: 22589633; PMCID: PMC3341916.
  3. Ghaly M, Teplitz D. The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2004;10(5):767–776.[PubMed]
  4. Ober C. Grounding the human body to neutralize bioelectrical stress from static electricity and EMFs. ESD Journal,, January 2000.


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