Getting in the Dirt Reduces Stress

Gardening is a physical activity that has numerous health benefits. One such benefit is lowering stress, relaxing your mind and body and nourishing your soul. So, if you are interested in lowering your stress this spring consider gardening.

Gardening is very popular in America, which is great for stress relief. According to the National Gardening Association and the Mother Nature Network, 37 percent of U.S. households have food gardens. Twenty-nine percent of these American food gardeners live in the South, 26 percent live in the Midwest, 23 percent live in the West, and 22 percent live in the Northeast. Americans plant a variety of flowers, fruits, and herbs, but most U.S. gardeners who plant vegetables grow tomatoes (86 percent), cucumbers (47 percent), and sweet peppers (46 percent). No matter how big your garden or what you plant just the act of getting outside and getting your hands dirty can lower your stress.

Get in the dirt
  1. Sunlight. Sunshine is a great health benefit for your body. It’s an excellent source of vitamin D, a nutrient that boosts memory and your mood while relaxing you and lowering your stress. Many of us in the Northern Hemisphere lack adequate amounts of vitamin D and fortunately gardening outside can help with that.
  2. Exercise. From pulling weeds to pushing wheelbarrows, gardening can be a great source of exercise. You get a chance to stretch and strengthen your body while getting the fresh oxygen to fill your lungs. This physical activity produces endorphins in your body, which can lower your stress.
  3. Connection. Scientific research shows that gardening engages your five senses and has a therapeutic impact on your health. Your eyes feast on the color, shapes, and sizes of the plants and animals in your garden. You get your hands dirty, connecting with the soft earth as you listen to the sounds of the insects and wind. All your hard work will produce sweet-scented flowers and plants. And, depending on the plants you grow, you can also taste all your hard work. All of this can lower your stress and blood pressure as well as boost your mood. Sharing this experience with your family is fun and you will create rich memories.

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