We live in a society in which we connect with technology hourly, but sadly don’t have much time or inclination to connect with nature. We’re missing out! Being in nature is good for the mind, body, and spirit, with research showing how it can make us happier and boost physical recovery from illness.
Best of all, reaping the benefits of nature doesn’t require a weekend getaway in the mountains. You can achieve them with some light gardening. Here’s how gardening can help you reconnect with nature, which will make you a better person.
Have you ever experienced being in nature and feeling better about life and yourself? Perhaps feeling the sun on your shoulders and watching the beauty of the sun filtering through the trees made you feel more alive? It’s not your imagination to experience these things. Here’s how gardening benefits you.
Gardening Uproots Stress
When you garden, you reconnect with nature but also yourself. You gain a bit of quiet time to be alone with your thoughts and feelings. When you work with plants and soil, seeing how things grow and how nature works in cycles, you realise you’re part of something much bigger than yourself, which refreshes your mind and put stress into greater perspective.
It’s no wonder you often feel that your worries suddenly don’t matter in the big scheme of things.
Even just being in natural sunlight is good for your stress levels. Research has found that it resets the body’s circadian rhythm, enhancing feelings of calmness and sleep, both of which often get hampered by too much stress.
Gardening Helps You See Hope In The World
You might not be a religious person, but spending more time in the garden can help to make you feel more spiritual. All you have to do is focus on the task at hand, clear your mind, and concentrate on your five senses, such as the feeling of spiky leaves in your hand during a yucca plant care pruning session, or delighting in the sight of brightly-coloured anemone flowers.
This boosts your mindfulness and can be part of soothing meditation that brings you back into the present moment.
When you focus on the beauty around you in this way, this can make you feel uplifted, and less likely to feel overwhelmed by the troubled world. Accoding to Australian psychologist Dr Susie Burke, “[Natural environments] convey the message that we live in a naturally ordered world of beauty, peace, inspiration, hope and transcendence.”
You’ll leave your gardening session feeling much more positive.
Gardening Makes You Happy
If you feel replenished and happier after a bout of gardening, it’s not just about the invigorating sights and sounds around you. Bacteria in soil called Mycobacterium Vaccae boosts cytokine levels in the body which produce happy chemicals known as serotonin.
Research states that when you garden, you breathe this bacteria in without realising it, which has many benefits for the body, such as boosting your mood and immune system. Best of all, these natural antidepressant effects are felt for up to three weeks after just one “interaction” with the bacteria.
There are many ways to reconnect with nature and gardening is one of the easiest ways in which to do so. When you focus on the natural environment around you, you improve your mood, stress levels, and put things into perspective.