Gardening for Mental Health and Happiness
Most of us work too much, whether it’s housework, the kids, or our job.
Not taking adequate time out for yourself can have health risks. Depression is one of them. Most people are overstressed, overworked, and have little to show for it besides their paycheck. I like to think of the outdoors as an escape from that reality. It helps create balance and serenity in the midst of chaos. Gardening, for example, is a great way to get that needed relaxation along with being able to enjoy your endeavor long after you’ve finished.
Think of gardening as taking your vitamins while having fun in the sun.
The sun is our main source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important in keeping our minds balanced and boosting our mood. Many studies have shown that countries that have cold, shortened days with little sunlight have a much higher mental illness and suicide rate than sunny, tropical climates. Studies have also shown that those with higher levels of vitamin D were consistently more agile and emotionally stable than those who get little to no sunlight. This is not a myth.
Vitamin D can help
Those suffering from depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, panic disorders, mood disorders and many more. Also, many diseases have been linked to low vitamin D levels. So, it’s really not just your mind that’s benefiting from your gardening escapade. Though they can be quite harmful if not shielded by sunscreen of 30 or higher, ultraviolet (UV) rays stimulate the production of endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical, just like exercise does.
Gardening also creates a sense of accomplishment.
You plant something alive and literally watch it grow into something beautiful or even edible. Just getting your hands dirty and sitting in the grass can bring about childlike awe and lightheartedness like running through the sprinkler. It’s just good old fashioned harmless fun. Focusing your mind on your plants instead of your stress is a nice escape from reality and it’s good for the earth and air quality, too. Soon you will notice a plethora of insects and animals that also want to be around your plants. I know I love sitting on my porch at night looking at all of my hard work that’s gone into my plants and noticing tiny tree frogs or lizards amongst them. Take a deep breath and enjoy!
Joe Douglas holds a B.A in Literature and currently writes for AccessRx.com, an online facilitator for consumers who buy Viagra online and other safe FDA-approved medications such as Levitra. Joe uses his research scientist skills to cover and uncover big pharma news he shares on the AccessRx Blog.