The Mindful Benefits Of Gardening
I think all of us strive to be healthier individuals, and there are so many ways to do so. Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness each have a whole host of health benefits and they mean something different to each of us. One of the benefits we can get from all three is relaxation. Calming down, alleviating stress, and continually manufacturing our own peace is just one way we can be healthier and live longer lives.
Have you ever tried gardening? Have you ever planted anything, cared for it, and watched it grow into something beautiful? Did you know that gardening can be just as relaxing as your favorite yoga pose?
SEE ALSO: 2 Hidden Benefits of Yin Yoga
Gardening Has Numerous Health Benefits
It has been proven that gardening has multiple relaxation benefits. Physically, it promotes good posture, sharpens the senses, and is good for the heart (your actual heart, as it is a physical activity performed outdoors in the fresh air.) It has a host of mental health benefits, as well. Most people see gardening as a respite from their everyday stresses, and the fact that it fosters creativity allows even the most unburdened minds to open up a little more. Getting closer to nature is also a wonderful stress reducer: only a few minutes outdoors lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Being outdoors also carries another health benefit: the sun is good for you! Being exposed to the sun regularly is one of the best ways to get your allotted amount of vitamin D, which has several preventative health benefits in and of itself. No, the sun doesn’t exactly put vitamin D in your body. However, exposure to certain UVB rays triggers a reaction that converts naturally-occurring cholesterol in your skin to vitamin D. While being in the sun is good for you, it’s also equally important not to get a sunburn. Consider staggering work between sun and shade, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, or selecting the optimum sunscreen to protect yourself while soaking in those rays the healthy way.
A UK study demonstrated that gardening literally makes you happier, and can improve your mood and even fight depression. The study showed that 80% of gardeners felt happy and satisfied with their lives, in comparison to an average of 67% of non-gardeners. Even worse is the fact that only 55% of people who had no hobbies felt satisfied with their lives. Gardening is a wonderful hobby for relaxation, physical and mental health, and overall happiness, but even if it’s not for you, fostering some kind of hobby (like yoga) is a great way to improve your life overall.
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the fact that gardening lengthens your lifespan. If you’re happy, healthy, calm and stress-free you’ll definitely want to live longer. All of gardening’s benefits come full-circle.
Gardening No Matter Where You Live
If you’re looking for a new hobby that can benefit your health and wellbeing, as well as balance your mind and bring about peace, I suggest gardening. You don’t need a shed full of tools or acres of land; you don’t even need a backyard to start gardening.
While a backyard garden is fairly traditional, you can plant things indoors too. That may sound silly, but plenty of people live in apartments or townhomes with no yard to speak of, so it’s important to include them too. With some windows and the right tools, anyone can nurture a garden, large or small, almost anywhere. You can even get creative and utilize a number of everyday household items as planters.
Don’t Forget To Reap The Rewards
And there’s one last benefit of gardening we have yet to talk about: the end result! In a flower garden, each specific type will provide beauty and wonderful aromas for a limited window of time. This will encourage you to enjoy each beautiful bloom while you can and teach you to take the time to appreciate the small things.
You can also harvest bouquets and hand them out to loved ones, friends, coworkers, or even strangers. A gift of flowers will bring a smile to anyone’s face, which is a guaranteed way to brighten your own day. Don’t forget that flowers can also be harvested for another reason: delicious, beautiful treats! There are several edible flowers that you can experiment with in your cooking and baking, which is sure to impress friends and family alike.
A few small houseplants or outdoor succulents do bring about peace simply with their presence, while a vegetable garden will provide all of the benefits of the hobby along with a hefty harvest of healthy produce and a new wealth of life experience. All the hard work you put into growing your own food will be more than worth it once you create tasty dishes with your handiwork.
There are plenty more benefits of gardening I could add, but I hope this is enough to convince you to give it a try, especially if peace and relaxation are your goals.
Do you garden? What are your favorite things about gardening?
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