Go Green for Your Health: Gardening for Wellness

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A garden is a joyful place. It combines the beauty and bounty of Mother Nature with the hard work and persistence of human nature. Whether your garden produces fruit, vegetables, or a beautiful array of flowering plants; it is a tactile and tangible recompense for your efforts.

All you need to become a gardener is a desire to try, a willingness to be patient, and a few plant pots. The benefits you will gain from your garden will go far beyond what you put into taking care of it.

Plants Benefit Mental Wellness

It is easy to see the physical benefits of growing a garden. The increased movement, getting to eat freshly grown food, and more. But did you know that growing plants can have a clear and positive effect on your mental well-being?

Research carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shown that even houseplants have substantial benefits on general well-being. Taking care of houseplants boosts mood and reduces stress while helping concentration and productivity.

The sense of accomplishment in providing well for your plants’ needs helps improve your self-esteem and confidence which can cause long-lasting improvements to your mental health.

All Ages Can Gain the Benefits

The effects of gardening are so beneficial that experts recommend children be allowed to garden from an early age. It allows them to learn responsibility, teaches them patience, and improves their ability to deal with stress and anxiety.

These same benefits are also the reason why many older adults receiving healthcare at home are encouraged to start gardens. Caring for plants has even been known to lower pain in patients with chronic conditions.

Plants oxygenate the air while also filtering pollutants, which can help people with respiratory and anxiety ailments. Taking care of the needs of the plants helps improve and strengthen cognitive functions and aids in reducing distress reactions in hospice patients.

Gardening Guarantees Safe Food

Leading a healthy lifestyle requires staying up to date on your fresh vegetables and greens. This can take quite a bit of time and research as not every type of vegetable is guaranteed to be organic or even tasty.

Growing your food plants assures you of good quality, organic food with a higher quality of taste and flavor than you can get from a supermarket or grocer.

Even a small kitchen garden can allow you to grow a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

You will also be significantly reducing the chances of food-borne diseases such as E. Coli sneaking into your diet through tainted greens and vegetables. Growing your food in your garden keeps you safe from these worries.

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Gardens Nurture Bonding

Families that garden together reaps benefits that go beyond physical health. The teamwork, commitment, and patience involved in gardening help family members to bond and develop deeper connections.

Increased family unity combined with the nutritional benefits of eating fresh, hand-grown food, leads to measurable levels of increased comfort and happiness within the home.

Gardening is also a simple way to help children learn responsibility and accountability. There is something to do in a garden for a child of any age. Putting a child in charge of caring for a plant develops their empathy and helps them learn the importance of their contribution to their family and the world.

Gardening Makes You Feel Good

Studies have shown that working with soil and plants has a measurable positive effect on people. Scientists have identified a bacterium that lives in the soil which can cause chemical releases in our cells to stimulate serotonin production in our brains. Thus, gardening can have the same impact on our happiness as taking an antidepressant.

The act of gardening, with its rituals and physicality, also helps people with anxiety and hyperactivity issues. It helps them to focus their energies constructively and produce results that fulfill their mind and body.

The physical nature of gardening is also an easy way to counter the sedentary nature of modern life. It gives people a reason to move around and stay limber and reduces the lethargy that comes with constantly being indoors. Whether your garden is your backyard or some pots on a balcony; it is a real connection with the world.

A garden helps you to contribute to the world around you and yourself in many positive ways.

You will find yourself able to appreciate the pace of life better, to take a step back and see the larger picture in different situations; and a new curiosity for learning and growing in new directions.

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