Perhaps one of the most rewarding hobbies or acts you can do for yourself and others is planting flowers and vegetables. The result will be worth all your effort as you get bouquets and delicious harvests for your dining table. But gardening can be more than that, as it can also do wonders for your well-being. Here are 6 surprising health benefits you can get from gardening:
- It relieves stress. Did you know that gardening is the best way to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety? Yes, that’s true. Gardening is a way of giving yourself the opportunity to focus on something, as well as putting your mind to work with a goal given the task that you have set yourself. This kind of thing is helpful, especially now with so much sickness and death and talking about death, but it’s comforting to see things grow and prosper.
- It builds self-esteem. When you dedicate yourself to tilling, planting, caring for, and harvesting plants, it will surprise you in a positive way as a person. You will be able to see your worth as a person, someone who can grow things and is a little more in tune with nature. There is always something good that you can feel when you are able to perform new tasks. And if you think you’re doing great at gardening, you can be sure that doing other things can produce great results, too.
- It offers you happiness. Didn’t you know that getting your nails dirty while digging the ground can make you very happy? And it may be for scientific reasons, because inhaling M. vaccae, which is considered a healthy bacteria that lives in the soil, can trigger an increased release of serotonin and reduce anxiety.
- It helps you grow your own food and eat healthier. When you grow your own vegetable, herb, or fruit garden, you are sure that what you get is fresh produce and has not been treated with pesticides. When you eat what you are growing, it is as natural and fresh as possible.
- It gives you a boost of vitamin D (for outdoor gardening). Vitamin D can trigger increased calcium levels, resulting in strong, healthy bones and immune systems. The best way to get the right amount of vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. Human bodies are more like a plant (in terms of acquiring vitamin D) that you help grow in your garden. This is because your body is capable of photosynthesis. And you know in your Biology class in high school that photosynthesis is the process in which plants make their own food using sunlight.
- It helps protect your memory as you age. It is a fact that exercise can help improve the cognitive functioning of the human brain. While it’s debatable whether gardening alone is enough to affect cognitive abilities like memory, new evidence shows that gardening activities can stimulate the growth of memory-related brain nerves.
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