Don’t underestimate the benefits of spring sunshine amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The sun has a positive effect on the function of our bodies.
We know that sunlight is beneficial - it helps our mood, productivity, physical and mental health.
Sunlight physically triggers the production of Vitamin D, which in turn aids the efficiency of your nerve, muscle and immune system whilst also raising endorphins and production of serotonin - a chemical nerve cells produce making you feel happier and calmer.
What happens when we can't get out to enjoy the sun as much as we'd like to?
Those without the luxury of a garden or large open space or self-isolating should not underestimate the power of sunlight outside whilst confined indoors.
When sunlight streams in through a window - it naturally lifts the mood without the harmful UV rays.
Pay attention to the times of days when the sun is shining through the windows of your home and find that super sunny spot to warm yourself and soak in the sunshine. Set up tables in that spot, play areas or cozy sitting spaces. Add a comfy chair and some pillows and turn it into a reading nook. Rotate your houseplants in this sunny spot.
Notice how the light changes in that location throughout the day and at different times of the year. During the perfect time of day, when the sun is shining through, sit, play, and enjoy it’s warmth.
Getting sunlight first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do. First, it tells your body clock it’s time to start the day. The science of chronobiology shows sunlight tells your body to stop producing melatonin, which is the hormone that controls sleep patterns. When melatonin shuts down, you become more alert. Exposure to sunlight and natural light helps you keep your circadian rhythms steady, and will also help you set a constant time to go to sleep and get up.
I know it sounds crazy, but we’re spending way too much time in our shoes and insulated from the earth in our cars and houses. Remember as a kid when you would run around barefoot in the garden, across the lawn, or a sandy beach - how great it felt? Well, it’s time to be a kid again. There are real health benefits in connecting your feet to the earth’s powerful electrons.
The earth is like a giant battery with natural low-level electrical charges. You know when you say “I feel grounded, or balanced, or centered”, well that’s how your body feels when it’s in contact with the electrical charges of the earth - you’re grounded and in harmony with nature.
Ideally you should ground yourself for 20 minutes per day - break it up into 10 minute sessions if you have to - maybe walk around your garden barefoot if you have to talk on the phone. When you start to do it regularly, you’ll be reminded of how good it felt when you were a kid.
What the science says
Scientific research has explored grounding for inflammation, cardiovascular disease, muscle damage, chronic pain, and mood.
The central theory from one review study is that grounding affects the living matrix, which is the central connector between living cells.
Electrical conductivity exists within the matrix that functions as an immune system defence, similar to antioxidants. They believe that through grounding, the natural defences of the body can be restored.
In another study on grounding and heart health, healthy participants were grounded using patches on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet.
Blood measurements were taken before and after grounding to determine any changes in red blood cell fluidity, which plays a role in heart health. The results indicated significantly less red blood cells clumping after grounding, which suggests benefits for cardiovascular health.
Another research examined the role of grounding on post-exercise muscle damage. Both grounding patches and mats and measured creatine kinase, white blood cell count, and pain levels before and after grounding.
Blood work indicated that grounding reduced muscle damage and pain in participants. This suggests that grounding may influence healing abilities.
More evidence on grounding for pain reduction and mood improvement. Before grounding therapy, physical and emotional stress and pain were common side effects of their physically demanding jobs. After earthing therapy, pain, stress, depression, and fatigue were all reduced among participants.