By Fiona Stephenson

Do you have a childhood memory of the first time you noticed being out in nature?

It is a natural instinct for children to love to be out in nature. Think of the long summer days at the beach, or perhaps it was playing with smooth pebbles by the riverside. A seemingly endless walk up the local volcano – or maybe for you, it was a cautious walk through the paddock, with one eye on the angry looking bull nearby. How about on your school field, playing bulrush or other sports? Making huts in trees and bushes was always a favourite pastime – or jumping off rocks straight into the ocean?

A lot of Kiwis have had at least one of these experiences in their childhood, and many will tell you that these were some of the most freeing moments of their life.

Today, it’s far too common for people to be disconnected from nature. We get so busy with life, we too often forget we have an abundance of natural wonders in this country. There is a tonne of scientific research online that will tell you, spending time connecting with nature is essential to our wellbeing.

And your wellbeing is not only good for you, it’s good for the rest of the planet too.

It doesn’t have to involve lengthy hikes, campfires or forest nakedness (unless you’re into that kind of thing). As a Gulf X supporter, we know you care about water. So here is one simple technique you can use to feel more connected with the body of water near you.


Go to your local beach or waterway. Walk barefoot along the sand or dirt. Feel the warmth of the sunlight on your skin. Close your eyes and listen to the rhythm of the crashing waves or flowing water. Ask yourself, what can I hear, what can I smell? Breath deep. Be aware of your legs and feet. Feel the ground beneath your feet.

You may feel a tingly sensation rising up through your body. Don’t worry if you don’t. Just imagine it’s there – imagine an electrical current between your feet and the earth. This is a very literal way to connect yourself with nature.

The researched benefits of grounding include:

Rather than read about it, the best thing to do is to try it. If you choose to give grounding a go, please get in touch with gulfx@sustainable.org.nz as we’d love to hear about it.