It’s been shown that gardening has a real and positive effect on mood and brain chemistry. Especially in these days of wearing masks and struggling to take a deep breath, the most obvious benefit is the fact that it allows you to get out into the fresh air and actually breathe. It also gives you a chance to slow down and be in the moment, removed from all the over stimulation our world provides.
Gardening also helps reduce depression. Here’s an interesting fact: dirt (or rather soil) is good for you. Apparently, there is at least one kind of bacteria found in soil (mycobacterium vaccae) which stimulates the part of the brain that produces serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. So if you accidentally consume trace amounts of dirt when you eat the vegetables from your garden, you might actually be doing yourself a favor!
Nature therapies, like gardening, can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety. There are studies that show this is true: the combination of the exercise that gardening provides along with the beauty and smells and sounds of nature, often creates a wonderful boost in feelings of well-being. (Anna Hamer, psychologist)
So if you’re feeling down-in-the dumps because this pandemic seems to be going on and on and on…or because of all the negativity and disharmony you see in the news…take the time today to go out and dig in the dirt. Or if you know someone who is struggling, encourage them to get out in their yard by giving them something to plant. Let’s all take advantage of this wonderful, natural therapy to get well and stay well!
Reprinted with permission from our friends at PAW PAW EVERLAST LABEL COMPANY, source of permanent metal garden labels.