Stress affects your life directly and can even get you sick. Recent studies have linked cancer to stress. But if you are under a lot of stress you could also suffer from bruxism, temporomandibular joint disorder, insomnia, depression, heart disease, and many others. But there are a lot of ways to reduce stress and also improve your health.
The answer is gardening
Gardening is one of the life’s simple and pure pleasures. Digging in the dirt and giving plants life can relieve stress. Planting a garden can connect you with the nature in a way that you subconsciously crave. That is why people who start gardening become addicted to it (in a good way). Gardening is not only beneficial for your health but is also fun and can improve your general mood and self-esteem.
How can gardening help you?
Some people start gardening to grow their own food and improve their landscape. But people that have realized that gardening relieves stress continue this good habit. Gardening can:
The Journal of Health Psychology has published a study where 30 people tested stress reliefs. The results have shown that just 30 minutes of outdoor gardening relieves twice as much stress than indoor activities. Furthermore, after the test subject did gardening, their positive mood was completely restored.
Attention fatigue reduced
People have a finite capacity of directed attention (the type needed for making phone calls, sending emails, etc.). This capability can be used up in one day, so attention fatigue sets in. This can make you irascible, stressed and easily distracted. The attention fatigue symptoms are similar to those suffered by people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), but the fatigue is only temporary. Resting and relieving stress can eliminate the attention fatigue.
By immersing yourself in nature, gardening included, you take a short but productive break from directed attention and instead use the effortless attention. This way you relieve the attention fatigue and recharge your mental batteries.
Improve your mental and body health
More than 80% of people who do gardening have reported of being completely satisfied with their lives. Did you know that there is a bacteria called mycobacterium vaccae that can affect your neurons just like the drug Prozac? This bacteria stimulates the production of serotonin and thus makes you feel more relaxed and happier. Maybe this is why people call gardening as their favorite activity. And as it is proved that with a good mental health you also have a good body health, it is normal for people who do this activity to be healthier.
Increased brain health
When you do gardening, you lower the risk of suffering from dementia later on. Watering plants, walking through your garden and breathing the clean air reduce your level of agitation and anxiety. Spend time in your garden and enjoy the time in your small paradise.
Reduce stress and anxiety and avoid having to deal with Bruxism, TMD, headaches, fatigue and many others. Take your time, build your own garden and get rid of that unwanted stress with the simple activity called gardening