Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! — Genesis 1:31 (NLT)
Have you ever heard of negative ions? Until a few years ago, I hadn’t.
I was reading in Leslie Sansone’s “Walk Away the Pounds” book when I came across the term.
“If you feel down or sluggish despite your new exercise program, the air might be your problem,” she writes. “Positive ions in the air, created by pollution, TV screens and computer monitors, and cars, cause fatigue, headaches, and other problems.”
I remembered how sick I felt when I taught in an old building on the main street of town, in a room with windows that opened up to truck exhaust that left a black sooty film on everything and caused my eyes to water and burn.
I read on: “Negative ions counteract this, improving mood, sleep, and energy.” Yep — just what I needed.
Where can negative ions be found? Waterfalls, pine forests and the beach — in nature, away from the manmade.
I remembered how I fell in love with the mountains when my family vacationed in Cook Forest when I was 9 years old, and then bought a small cabin not far from there. I always felt so much better at the cabin than back home in the steel-mill town where I grew up. That’s why I went to Clarion to college, and accepted my first teaching job in Punxsutawney. And why my husband and I built our home in the country.
According to WebMD, negative ions are “odorless, tasteless, invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments,” where sunlight and moving air and water break apart the air molecules. Negatively charged ions are believed “to help alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost daytime energy” by increasing oxygen flow to the brain, “resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.”
“The more negatively charged ions there are in the blood, the more efficient the cell’s metabolism,” I read on another site.
All this — without popping a pill? Wow!
I thought of how good I’d been feeling, now that I’m retired. My country home is on top of a mountain, where pine trees surround me. I thought about how much less time I’ve been spending at the computer. I went from eight-plus hours a day to no more than four. Mostly because since my neck surgery in 2011, sitting too long at the computer (or anywhere) in a more-or-less fixed position, causes my neck and shoulder muscles to stiffen up and ache.
Less time at the computer (or in front of a TV) means less time exposed to positive ions that have a negative effect. More time outside, in nature, means more time exposed to negative ions, which have a positive effect.
So, in addition to my in-home walking DVD, I added a 30-minute walk around our property, through the fields along the tree line and along a path through the woods. I felt better than I’d felt in years.
What an awesome discovery! But what is even more awesome is the God who planned and created it all for us — even the negative ions.
I’m reminded, O Lord, of Your love for me each time I step outside, watch the different birds at my birdfeeder, gaze at a breathtaking sunset, marvel at the beauty of a flower. Thank you for creating all this for me. Amen.
Read and reflect on Genesis 1.
© 2012 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.