By Mariel Hemingway, actress/author
“One of my passions in life is to help people who suffer from mental health issues whether depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other brain imbalance, to not feel isolated or alone.”
We have to speak up about the issues of our brain so that we can find solutions. There is so much stigma largely due to the fact that people don’t have an understanding that part of recovery is addressing lifestyle when it comes to mental health. Meaning that it is not just a pill that will take care of the problem, it is also how we are living our everyday life. I believe that our mental balance comes from a variety of avenues. We address it through the food we eat, the exercise we engage in, the water we drink (how much of it are you drinking and what is the quality of that water?), taking
time for silence and prayer, getting sunshine (increasing our vitamin D) and finally and yet so importantly our connection to Nature. One of the greatest discoveries for me lately is the way that earthing literally changes my mood and the mood of others that I share my passion for it with.
A few months ago a friend who lives in Portland Oregon who suffers from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), during the dark months of winter reached out to me on Instagram and basically in a private message video said he was so depressed he could not function. He was in tears and felt hopeless. Without a pause (and possibly a disclosure that I am not a doctor) I told him to go outside, as I checked out the weather (thank you iPhone for your expertise in this field) in Portland and saw that there was some sun peeking through the clouds for a few hours that day. I said “when you get outside, even if you are on a sidewalk take your shoes off and wander your street while looking up at the sun periodically.” I also recommended he take some CBD oil and make sure he was not drinking any alcohol (to self medicate) as it is a depressant. I kid you not, an hour later he text me and said it was literally a miracle that he felt better, he was hopeful, able to function and looking forward to the next moments of his day which if you have ever suffered depression you understand what it means when you can barely function from moment to moment. I was a bit flabbergasted only because I didn’t think that earthing would have had such a profound and quick effect on him as it did, even though I was a believer.
As some of you may or may not know I come from an amazing family but as many creative people do some of them suffered from mental illnesses like depression, alcoholism, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia. Since childhood I have been on a path to discovering the best methods to prevent sadness in my own life. I was depressed for a lot of my childhood and young adulthood; some of it based on my fear that what plagued my family would plague me as well. But the one thing that was a saving grace for me then as now was/is my connection to Nature. In fact I am positive that when my family drank too much or when my oldest sister was having a manic episode, I went outside into the mountains, scrambled up trails breathing so hard I had to sit under a tree for an hour sometimes to recover but really to recover from the chaos of home. Afterwards I felt like I could handle whatever came my way. I didn’t realize at the time but it was my Earthing to the earth, that succinct connection to the planet that was helping me forge ahead. When you think about what Earthing is doing by getting rid of inflammation remember that the brain is inflamed as well. That is what is the root cause of most brain trauma…brain inflammation and when you ground that fiery brain calms down.
Though I rarely feel depressed at all anymore I do get stressed like we all do now and again as we will live highly stressed lives these days, I now know that if I take my shoes off, go into the yard and either wander around or simply sit crossed legged and quiet I get instant relief. It is a spiritual experience to feel the earth beneath me and feel the tension literally expel from my body. And that is how I live my life making the time I am grounded as important to my lifestyle as the food I eat or even the supplements I take.
Please join me in sharing these observations on Earthing and mental health with your parents, your friends, your kids; anyone and everyone that might benefit from earthing. You cannot believe the feed back that will begin to come your way.