Big deals and successful careers do not mean much if you don’t have enough time to spend on what you like. Any specialist, from a cardiologist to nutritionist, psychiatrist, and even your priest, will advise you to find a hobby. A small, not too demanding work for relaxation and enjoyment. Some people like to be real action heroes, but there are those who like to spend time in the silence. These people often choose fishing, hiking, or gardening as a hobby.
There is something about digging dirt that makes us feel much better since early childhood. From physical to spiritual, gardening has many right sides and is recommended absolutely to everyone.
Gardening is a Stress Relief Program
Having at least a little piece of land around the house is a real fortune for your family and you. Going out and spending time on something productive like gardening, even if it meant taking care of a few pots of flowers, is huge stress relief.
The latest surveys also suggest that gardening can combat stress with more success than other activities. Time spent in the backyard turns thoughts from the phone and e-mail. Instead, you focus only on one task at a given moment, which returns the balance between mind and body.
Did you know that playing in dirt stimulates the hormone of happiness?
Gardening can be seen as a mild form of mental and physical exercise. Increased exposure to fresh air and sun rays can improve your mood and reduce depression. Exposure to vitamin D, but also to beneficial bacteria found in the soil can actually improve mental health – just like when we were kids. This specific bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, release the serotonin, the hormone of happiness. This small organism also discovered that it improves cognitive function and may even cure cancer and other diseases. Planting is a natural antidepressant!
Furthermore, gardening can reduce the risk of developing dementia. Various studies that followed people in later years revealed that gardeners had a 47% lower risk of dementia, regardless of even some other negative health factors that were considered. While for people with diagnosed dementia, planting can be one form of therapy because it promotes calmness, relaxation, and helps to reduce overall stress.
“Medicinal gardens” have become part of many rehabilitation centers and institutions, where patients can spend some time among beautiful flowers and plants. The connection between the garden and the mind has a link that we can not clearly see, but we know that gardens have a healing power to humans.
It is an excellent physical activity
Working in the garden does not often require some significant physical effort, but it is inevitable to spend a certain amount of calories and improve blood circulation. How many times do you have to bend, tick, get up? Stretch your hands to grab the branch, or to dig a soil, which represents quite a lot of activity? Serious flower growers will tell you this is the best training you can get!
An additional advantage is that you will probably have long-term use, plus, you will get beautiful flowers and herbs, and the body in shape with one stroke. The exercise can become monotonous – but with gardening, there is always an added benefit!
Growing your own organic food
People who, besides flowers, grow their own food, believe in healthy nutrition and organic production. The food from your garden is the freshest, healthiest food you can eat. Statistically, gardeners consume more fruits and vegetables than those that do not produce, even the minimum amount of vegetables.
Some elementary schools all over the world have included children in gardening, where each class gets its own plots. The children showed enthusiasm not only about cultivation but also about eating products from their own garden. So, if you want your children to eat more healthy and green, plant a cucumber in the garden or simply, a cherry tomato that even thrives in small pots.
Gardening, a spiritual zen
Ancient cultures have a cult of flowers and herbs as something sacred and spiritual that is directly related to our inner peace and balance. Japanese methods of meditation, cultivation of the tree of life, are an excellent example of applying gardening to experience spiritual cleansing.
Even if you are not religious and do not have much concentration to connect with trees and flowers at that level, gardening will definitely enrich you. Soil digging calms down, and the product of this work is fragrant and beautiful flowers, which certainly satisfies. Therefore, the latest research suggests that growing at least a small parcel of land can prolong life.