As I reflect on my birthday (it's today June 7th, as I write this), I keep relearning that among the most valuable of life's "successes", are simple things like mastering the practice of finding calm, and internal stability.
It's inevitable that life will throw us curve balls and challenges.
The emotional/spiritual resilience we cultivate is what can help us bounce back when things are hard – and really soak up the good times when they're happening.
Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite daily mindfulness and wellness activities that help ground me in the present moment.
Though they may seem basic, these five practices include some of the most effective and globally accessible options for improving your health right now.
I hope these inspire you to create your own grounding practices!
According to research, the average American spends over 90% of their time indoors — definitely not enough natural light exposure for optimal health!
Many of us already know our cortisol and melatonin rhythms in the body directly contribute to sleep, depression, and mood. Blue light exposure late at night from electronic devices can massively disrupt or strain our natural rhythms.
Experiencing bright, natural, unfiltered sunlight first thing upon waking up is an ideal way to reset your circadian clock.
When the photons from the sun greet our eyes first thing in the morning, it positively impacts and optimizes our brain, mood— even digestion!
Throughout the morning and early afternoon, I find an opportunity to ensure my eyes and skin are getting in contact with direct sunlight. Vitamin D plays a critical role in healing, immune function, and overall well being.
I’ve been inspired to go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier to harness the power of morning sunlight. I notice when I balance my circadian rhythms and get regular sunlight exposure, I simply feel better, stronger, more focused, and alert throughout my day.
2. RED LIGHT THERAPY
In addition to absorbing the free photonic energy from 93 million miles away, red light therapy (and near infrared light) is a healthy beneficial healing modality you can also implement at home.
Invisible near infrared (and visible red light) wavelengths on the skin acts as an anti-inflammatory healing for muscles, and it can strengthen and stimulate our mitochondria, which are the “powerhouse” energy creators in our cells.
Red light therapy can improve blood flow to damaged tissues, so it’s great for joint pain, muscle and workout recovery, headaches, and fatigue.
At-home near-infrared saunas are increasing in popularity, though it’s a more expensive solution for many.
Purchasing a smaller red light therapy unit is one step closer to mitochondrial and healing support.
(Use code ECL for $50 off, if you want one.)
3. MORNING GROUNDING
The practice of grounding, often called “Earthing,” is the act of getting our bare feet directly onto the soil, absorbing the Earth’s natural electric charge.
The effects of grounding on the body are outstanding in clinical research.
Just minutes a day with our feet on the ground can improve circulation, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, lower inflammation, assist in wound healing, combat jet-lag, and slow free-radical damage associated with aging.
It’s easy and free to practice.
Just take off your socks and shoes, and find a spot on the earth to stand. I aim for at least 20 minutes a day, and often incorporate meditation into this practice.
I’ll be curious to know: how do you feel after just a few minutes with your toes in the grass?
4. COLD PLUNGING
To submerge your entire body in near-freezing water for several minutes at a time takes physical stamina, and mental discipline.
Yet, it’s one of the most compelling links to a stronger immune system, better sleep quality, improved mental health, and even relief from symptoms of certain autoimmune diseases.
Since becoming aware of cold-plunging expert “The Iceman” Wim Hof’s teachings, I was inspired to learn the art of intentional cold plunging in glacial streams, rivers, and lakes. Spending so much time in Montana has gratefully allowed me to incorporate this into my wellness practices!
Even when submerging isn’t available, I finish my shower with 1-3 minutes of “as-cold-as-it-can-go” temperature at full blast. The practice of controlling my breath and mindset through cold therapy has provided me immeasurable benefits, and the courage to continue!
Have you tried cold plunging?!
5. INDOOR GARDENING
No matter what climate you live in — or what season it is — the act of growing indoor herbs and plants is available to you.
Research studies show that interacting with plants inside your home can lower your stress, blood pressure, and improve your mood.
More foundationally, it reminds us of our innate connection to the forest and Nature, even in cold winter months when outdoor gardening may not be available.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found active interactions with houseplants— for instance working with soil, pruning, touching, and smelling— “have shown to have the same relaxing and stress-reducing effects as spending time in a forest.”
People often tell me they can't grow anything because they don't have a yard. One of the easiest ways you can join me in effortlessly growing edible plants indoors is with a sleek “smart garden” system, like Click And Grow.
(Use code TNTG20 for a huge 20% off!)
I’m currently growing basil, thyme, peppers, mustard greens, cilantro, and more and it gives me mental peace to know there’s nutritious food growing right in my windowsill.
Even non-edible houseplants have remarkable benefits for human health. (my giant snake plant, for instance, can help cleanse the air of toxins and pollutants)
As a "birthday present" to me...try to incorporate one of these practices into your daily or weekly routine!
Are there any you're already doing that you've felt have been beneficial???