Taking exams is a major part of being a student, and it is normal to feel stressed around exam time. A little pressure can be a good motivator, but too much can result in physical and mental illness and poor performance on the day.
Researchers have found that earthing reduces stress and may be particularly helpful for high school and university students. It has been shown to increase relaxation, improve mood and can relieve the pressure associated with taking exams.
Earthing is the practice of being in conductive contact with the earth, such as by walking barefoot on the grass or using an indoor earthing product. Read more about What is Earthing.
Research shows that this practice brings a wide range of benefits including improved sleep, energy, and concentration and reduced stress. Find out more earthing benefits.
Earthing reduces stress by regulating levels of the hormone cortisol. This is one of the hormones involved in the “fight or flight” response and keeps you mentally alert. When you are studying, this can be a good thing, but when cortisol levels get too high, it can cause problems.
Stress, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue are all symptoms of high cortisol. By bringing this hormone back within its normal range, earthing helps to resolve these issues.
Study on Earthing for Student Stress
A 2015 research study showed the positive effects of earthing on student stress. It used alpha and beta brainwave frequencies as a measurement of stress levels. Alpha brainwaves are experienced during relaxation, whereas beta brainwaves are associated with mental activity, concentration and stress.
30 students aged 19-25 years old were selected at random. The students had their brainwaves measured by EEG both before and after earthing. Earthing was carried out for three minutes using a conductive patch kit. This was connected to the ground using the earth port of a power outlet.
The results showed that earthing had the effect of reducing beta waves while increasing alpha waves. This is a sign of increased relaxation and decreased stress. These results were achieved after just three minutes of earthing, although there was no self-reporting on how long students stayed relaxed for afterwards.
More evidence for the beneficial effects of earthing on stress is provided by this 2010 study. It measured several parameters including pulse rate, respiratory rate and skin conductance. Skin conductance is used as a measure of nervous system activity and emotional arousal.
Subjects were seated in a comfortable recliner for two hours, during which time they underwent 40 minutes of earthing or sham earthing.
In the earthed group, there was an immediate decrease in skin conductance as earthing was commenced. This suggests that earthing has a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system. Other parameters were also affected significantly by earthing, warranting further research into the subject.
Other Research on Earthing and Stress
A further 2015 study looked at the effects of earthing on mood. It took 40 adult participants who were divided into earthing and sham earthing groups. The earthed subjects were provided with conductive pillows, mats and patches connected to the ground via the earth port of a power outlet. The remaining subjects were sham earthed, with no connection to the ground.
Each participant filled in a Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) form before and after the one-hour session. The study found that earthing improved mood. More pleasant and positive moods were reported by the earthed subjects compared with the control group of relaxation alone.
Is My Child Suffering from Exam Stress?
Everybody reacts differently to stress, and some people cope with it better than others. If your child is suffering from exam stress, there are several tell-tale signs to look out for. These include:
- Frequent headaches
- Digestive issues such as nausea, constipation or diarrhoea
- Skin problems such as acne or eczema
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Poor sleep
- Anxiety, depression, irritability or mood swings
- Not wanting to socialize with friends
- Nervous habits such as nail biting or fidgeting
- Increased smoking or drinking alcohol
How to Get Started with Earthing
Earthing can be done by simply kicking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the earth. When this is not practical, an indoor earthing product can be used. Better Earthing Mat and Fabric Grounding Pad are especially suitable for use while seated at a desk.
The earthing mat can be placed on a desk or under your child’s feet while they study, while the highly conductive Fabric Pad can be used on a desk or chair. As the pad is made of fabric, it can also be used while sleeping. This will allow your child to enjoy the benefits of earthing and relieve stress both comfortably and conveniently at home.
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.
Chevalier, G. Changes in pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygenation, perfusion index, skin conductance, and their variability induced during and after grounding human subjects for 40 minutes. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010 Jan; 16(1): 81-7.
Chevalier, G. The Effect of Grounding the Human Body on Mood. Psychological Reports: Mental & Physical Health, 2015 116(2): 534-42.