Negative ions are oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron. They are created in nature by the effects of water, air, sunlight and the Earth’s inherent radiation. Negatively charged ions are most prevalent in natural places and particularly around moving water or after a thunderstorm. – Negativeionizers.net
Do you know the feeling of lying on a beach all day and then feeling exhausted? If you ever asked yourself how doing nothing all day can get you so tired, the answer is positive ions. In nature, positive ions come from the sun’s UV rays and positive ions drain our energy. Also in our daily life, we absorb harmful positive ions from computers, cell phones, fluorescent lights, and machinery.
On the other hand, think about how great the air feels just after a thunderstorm or when you’re standing next to a waterfall? That smell, that feeling are the effects of negative ions that fill the atmosphere. We notice and enjoy them! Negative ions are thought to have a positive effect on our psyche, our sense of well-being… and perhaps even our sense of happiness. Negative ions manifest from nature… rain, trees, grasses, and minerals all contain helpful negative ion properties.
High levels of Positive ions are undesirable. Seems counterintuitive right? Negative ions have a positive effect and positive ions have a negative effect? Well let’s see where positive ions are found:
- Indoors where a TV or computer monitor is operating
- Wherever the air is polluted. Air pollution uses up negative ions
- Air is stripped of electrons as it flows through ductwork, creating unwanted positive ions.
Ions are all around you right now and, whether you are aware of them or not, there is a good chance they are affecting the way you feel and quite possibly your health as well. There are both positive and negative ions… high levels of positive ions being undesirable. Seems counterintuitive right? Negative ions have a positive effect and positive ions have a negative effect? Well let’s dive in a little bit more to understand why that is.
What Are Positive Ions?
According to webmd.com, positive ions are usually carbon dioxide molecules that have been stripped of an electron and can have a negative effect on your body when you are exposed to them in excess. An excess of positively charged ions in your environment is believed to contribute to tiredness and a lack of energy, tension, anxiety and irritability.
Have you ever laid on the beach all day and then gotten home and been extremely lethargic? If you ever asked yourself how doing nothing all day can get you so tired, the answer is positive ions. They are commonly formed by:
- Computer equipment, printers and photocopiers
- Cell phones
- Fluorescent lights
- Machinery like washer/dryers
- High winds
- Hair dryers
- Fibers in carpets, curtains and upholstery
- Workplace/home air-conditioning systems
Even worse is that many homes and offices are often well sealed from the air outside, so there’s little chance for fresh air and its negative ions coming in with high enough levels to counteract this positive ion damage. If you live in the city, opening a window is probably more harmful than helpful with all of the pollution.
What Are Negative Ions?
Negatively charged ions are the opposite of positive ions and they have directly the opposite effect on your health, mood and energy levels. According to webmd.com, negative ions are created when a molecule gains a negatively charged electron. Due to this nature, they are statically attracted to airborne particles like dust, mold and other pollutants and potential allergens. By attaching to these pollutants and allergens they give them a negative charge and, rather than drifting in the air, they are grounded and fall to the floor or nearest surface. Even bacteria and viruses circling in a room can be cleared by negatively charged ions attaching to them and removing them from the air.
This is a good part of the reason why you usually feel so refreshed after a weekend away in nature or a good hike through the forest. Some effect include:
- Lift mood and increase happiness
- Alleviate depression
- Positive affect on psyche
- Sense of well-being
- Treatment against Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Decreased recovery time when working out
How Do We Increase Negative Ions?
Clearly you can see that just spending time in nature is will increase negative ions, especially if you live in the city. It’s important to make time to get away, regroup, and live life a little slower.
Here are some suggestions:
- Trail running
- Skateboarding/running/biking in rural areas
- Swimming in a lake, ocean, or river
- Picnic in a secluded park
- Weekend away in the countryside
- Find an AirBnB treehouse and stay there for the weekend
- Purchase a salt lamp – they are known to counteract positive ions
- Purchase an ionizer – using them can help swing the balance of positive and negative ions in your home or office back towards a more health promoting ratio
The biggest thing is to just be mindful of negative ions and if you’re in a slump, try to get out and soak up the negative ions as much as you can. Everyone needs an excuse for a vacation in the middle of the winter!