When it comes to finding activities that are good for you and good for the planet, things can get a little tricky. Often what is hailed as a miracle cure for us hurts the planet, and often what’s good for the planet causes us intense stress and inconvenience. It doesn’t have to be this way. Things can be good for everyone, and the joy of it is that these things tend to be simple and enjoyable. The following will explore a few activities that are environmentally friendly but can also help keep you grounded and therefore in a more receptive, comfortable, open-minded state.
Grounding is an incredibly important concept that not enough people know about or employ in their lives. Basically, being grounded is being content with who you are and where you are in your life; it has to do with appreciating the journey more than the destination and enjoying being in the present moment. When people are grounded, they tend to have lower levels of anxiety, stress, and depression and often make better decisions and have more focus. The theory of grounding purports that one of the things that can prevent you from being grounded is having an excess of energy in the body that needs to be released. When it comes to physics, substances can have an abundance of protons within them (positively charged) that when they come in contact with something with not enough protons (negatively charged), the protons move and balance both objects out. This works on small scales, on people, and on large scales (lightning is a jump of protons to the ground). The best things to touch if you want to ground yourself include rocks, soil, and water.
Given that water is such a profound and grounding energy, water-based activities can be a major pleasure that helps balance out your mind and emotions. Things like kayaking, canoeing, and paddle-boarding are a workout and a calming activity that keep you in contact with the ebb and flow of natural bodies of water. Water lovers at watersportswhiz.com emphasize that you don’t need much to get started and offer up the basic information like the difference between a touring kayak and an ocean-safe kayak. Once you get yourself set up, you’ll find that gliding on the water is one of the most serene ways to enjoy fresh air and nature while grounding yourself.
When it comes to eco-friendliness, water-based activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing are spectacular as long as you don’t leave any trash behind as you go. It is worth noting, however, that many sunscreens cause severe damage to underwater ecosystems and so you need to be careful about what sunblocks you use. Do your research appropriately, or better yet, use things like hats, sleeves and sunglasses to protect your skin, rather than chemicals.
Foraging is an activity that not only keeps you grounded but activates all those under-used paleo dopamine receptors in the brain, making you feel pretty fantastic. Quite simply, foraging involves exploring the wilderness for plants that you can eat, make tea with, or create tinctures and essential oils with. Nothing clears the mind faster than scanning the forest floor for mushrooms as you breathe in the fresh, wild air. Of course, it is vital that you make sure you know what you’re foraging for and how to harvest it sustainably (foraging is absurdly better for the environment than farming). It’s a good idea to go out with someone who knows a lot about foraging the first few times. If you’re unsure whether you can eat something, stay on the safe side and leave it alone.
Similar to foraging but a little less adventurous, gardening involves growing plants in your own yard or home. Even if you have an incredibly small space, you can grow a pretty surprising amount of food sustainably and organically. This means you can save money, help the planet, and get healthier all in one activity. Be wary of using plastic or watering your plants with water that has been sitting in plastic, as we need fewer microplastics in water and soil instead of more. Checking how your little seeds are doing is a fantastic experience that can fill you with pride and joy; dipping your fingers in the soil and getting a little dirty helps with grounding. Gardening is also that perfect balance of moderate exercise that many people who have mobility issues can still enjoy.
There’s a reason people become addicted to hiking: it feels fantastic, lets you witness stunning vistas, leaves you feeling healthy, and as long as you’re respectful, does no damage to the environment. The benefits don’t end there; studies have shown that just half an hour in the woods boosts your immune system for an entire week. Hiking builds strength in your lower body and back and counts as a form of low-impact aerobic exercise. It boosts your stamina and heart health resulting in improved circulation and oxygenation as well as decreased inflammation. Beyond this, hiking can help drastically improve mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, helping your focus, improving your creativity and helping you feel good by releasing endorphins into your system. Endorphins can help lift your mood and reduce pain. If all these benefits weren’t enough, studies have found a link between hiking and improved relationships.
If you’re going hiking, be sure to wear appropriate footwear for the terrain you’ll be encountering and let someone know where you’re going. Accidents do happen, so you want someone to notice if you haven’t returned at the time you were supposed to. As always, take all your garbage with you to help keep the environment clean and safe for all.
The above list is only the beginning. Once you begin to see how simple, fun activities can leave you feeling refreshed and grounded and can have no negative impact on the environment, you’ll find it hard to stay away. It’s a good idea to listen to your body when participating in all of the above activities and take breaks if you feel you need them.
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