It goes without saying that if you tend to a garden, you'll yield a bounty of crops and flowers. However, the benefits of gardening go way beyond the obvious. In fact, getting down and dirty in the soil can actually help mend a broken spirit and body as well as a broken mind. Finding natural methods to deal with mental and physical tribulations can help steer you away from self-medicating with substances that can lead to addiction. Gardening is a delightful form of therapy that can be both rewarding as well as restorative.
5 Ways Gardening Can Help Mend a Broken Spirit, Body and Mind:
- Boost your Immune System: Being outside with your garden exposes you to a surplus of Vitamin D which can help strengthen your bones and teeth. Additionally, plants give off oxygen which stimulates the blood flow and helps keep your mind sharp. And also, a recent article published in The Scientist suggests that digging in the dirt exposes you to microorganisms that can program your system to be immune to allergies and asthma.
- Natural Stress Reliever: Taking a step back to truly appreciate nature as a whole can be a very calming experience. The sights, aromas, and hums of the garden certainly promote relaxation. Basking in the pictorial appeal of flora can help shoo away feelings of anxiety and stress while inviting in feelings of peace and Zen.
- Gardening can Improve your Body: You may not think it, but gardening is a workout. Walking around the garden, digging, tilling and watering can help burn calories and strengthen your muscles. A study published by Science Direct claims that working just two and a half hours a week in the garden can also reduce your risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and stroke.
- Natural Anti-depressant: The same bacteria that can help boost your immune system can also ward off symptoms of depression. This bacteria can help stimulate the release of good-mood endorphins which in turn can increase serotonin levels, making you feel genuinely happier.
- Gardening can make you healthier: As mentioned earlier, the most obvious benefit of gardening is harvesting the crops that the garden produces. Vegetation such as cucumbers, melon, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic are all alkaline after digestion. When eaten regularly, your body will begin to detox harsh toxins that fog the mind and spirit and also prematurely age the body. Regularly detoxing with raw fruits and veggies is one of the easiest ways to regain your health.
How to Start a Garden:
It really doesn't take much to start a garden, all you need is a place to grow. Even a credit card sized sector of flowers can promote calm. You can grow a beautiful container garden on your porch or even tend to a flower box in the front of your house. However, if you have the space to do so, you should manage some garden beds in your backyard. Once you have your spot, you will need organic mulch, flowers or crop seeds that would flourish in your area and water to nourish the grounds. You will also need gardening tools and organic, natural pesticides and fertilizers to keep everything healthy.
In times long gone, physicians in Egypt would order their mentally distressed patients to take daily walks around a garden. The directions would be to breathe in the fresh air, dig in the rich soil, awe at the beauty of the plants and marvel at the insects seducing the flowers. As you embark on your own journey of building the perfect Zen-inducing garden for yourself, keep these tips in the back of your mind and enjoy the mental healing inherent in the sensory experience of gardening.
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