Listen, I’m no chemist and I definitely don’t understand all of the complex science behind ions. But, there is a lot of scientific data that shows how positive and negative ions impact the environment and our mental health.
Positive ions, also called “free radicals,” are molecules that have a positive electrical charge. Pollution, allergens, computers, photocopiers, cell phones… all of these things generate positive ions. Too many positive ions in our environment have a drastic impact on our bodies and mental health. They cause anxiety, depression, body aches, fatigue, dizziness, etc. Look at that list again and consider how many hours of the day you are around natural and electronic pollution!
Negative ions, on the other hand, are believed to stimulate the serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is a mood stabilizer. It helps lift the mood, produces calm, and makes you feel more alert and able to concentrate. So, let’s look at a few natural negative ion producers that you could use when you begin to feel the effects of too many positive ions:
It’s no wonder that so many people list “being in nature” as a healthy coping skill when feeling stressed. Some of the places with the highest concentration of negative ions are:
- After a storm
Candles and herbs
I know it sounds all hippie-dippie but burning sage and other cleansing herbs put negative ions back into the air. It has an anti-microbial effect, which is particularly good right now during a pandemic. Beeswax candles and incense are also good for burning. Many of these things can be found at your local natural food stores.
Salt lamps and crystals
Again, those hippies and earth spiritualists sure seem to know what they’re doing. Warming Himalayan salt lamps have a neutralizing effect on the environment by absorbing water molecules and minimizing toxins. Crystals such as turquoise, tourmaline, and amethyst are also believed to have a similar effect.
Running water releases negative ions into the air. This is why a beach feels so relaxing–the pounding waves and churning water are producing negative ions. Can’t make it to the beach? A shower can produce the same effect. The warmth of the water and the churning of the molecules produce negative ions that cleanse the air and release serotonin into your bloodstream. In the same way, a small table fountain produces negative ions and has a calming sound!
We know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen but they also release tons of negative ions. Some produce more than others such as: spider plants, palms, ferns, and chrysanthemums. Put some plants around your home and office for the beauty and the clean air benefit!