“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin
Have you ever wondered why you suddenly feel great after a gardening session? Or has it ever crossed your mind why your grandparents can’t seem to stop gardening once they’ve started and seem to be overjoyed? It’s indeed undeniable that spending time in the garden gives us that unexplainable feeling of happiness and relief. Not to mention, the combination of colors of the flowers and plants are just incredibly beautiful to the eyes. Certainly, a time spent with nature is a time worth remembering.
Furthermore, you don’t have to go out and find expensive restaurants just to spend quality time with friends or family over a meal. If you have a garden, you can simply grow fresh and organic produce which is the best ingredient any dish ever cooked. Plus, the ambiance is relaxing and draws positive vibes.
Moreover, gardening provides more than adding beauty to your yard. Your labor of love in gardening have six relevant benefits that may surprise you.
1. Relieves Stress
According to studies conducted by Wageningen University and Research Center, gardening plays a crucial role in reducing stress levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone, greatly influences mood, causing irritability, headaches, stomach aches, and heart attacks while worsening pre-existing conditions. Hence, once Cortisol level is reduced, stress levels lessen as well. Not only that, it can also reduce pain, improve attention and boost self-esteem. Imagine doing it every day and the advantages that you can get out of it.
2. Promotes Brain Health
One of the most threatening brain diseases is dementia. This disease mostly affects older adults and targets their memory. Good thing is, researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%. They further explain that activities involved in gardening including strength, endurance, dexterity, learning, problem solving, and sensory awareness promotes brain health. The more our brain gets into action, the better its health is.
3. Immunity Booster
Your garden’s dirt isn’t so bad after all – in fact, it can even help you in ways you can never imagine. The dirt you’ve been working on contains Mycobacterium vaccae, a friendly garden bacteria (also an antidepressant) which relieves symptoms of immune system illnesses such as psoriasis, allergies, and asthma. This bacteria boosts the production of serotonin which is responsible for maintaining mood balance and helps reduce the risk of depression.
4. Improves Mental Health
Research reveals that spending time with nature helps prevent mental disorder, such as depression, and promotes mental health. The growing field of “horticultural therapy” has shown proven results for patients with depression and other mental illnesses. Experts on this field also explain that a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work is the main key to nourishing all the senses and improve overall brain function.
5. Stimulates Heart Health
Did you know that gardening is a good exercise? Yes, it is, in fact, a form of moderate-intensity exercise and at least 2 hours of doing it every week can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack according to a Stockholm study. Plus, your exposure to the sun activates Vitamin D which also reduces risks of heart attack as research revealed. It also shows significant benefits in helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure which are two of the most common causes of heart diseases.
6. Adds Property Value
Now, gardening isn’t only beneficial for your health but as well as real estate. Gardening and landscaping is actually a form of investment. A well-designed and beautifully organized yard or garden can add “curb appeal” to your house and in turn increase the overall value of your home. Most people who plan to sell their homes consider landscaping and gardening as one of the most important renovations to do since it can help sell a property faster.
So, the next time people ask you, why you love spending time gardening, you know very well what to answer. More likely, there’s no reason or person to stop you from doing so. Think about it, every time you do your gardening tasks, you’re receiving Mother Nature’s benefits in ways you didn’t expect. Plus, the holiday season is coming, better get those produce ready for harvest and invite friends and family over for dinner. It’ll be certainly a night to remember!