Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

gardeningWell, we aren’t really talking about just roses and other flowers here. Gardening, in general, is said to give joy to people. In fact, according to a study conducted by City & Guilds, gardeners are among the happiest workers in the UK. And this is due to a variety of reasons.

The Act Itself

Among the biggest pleasures of gardening are the rewards of being one with nature. There’s the fun of merely being outdoors. And for many people, “getting down and dirty” is simply liberating; this means digging soil, cultivating plants, and dealing with insects. In addition, waiting for seedlings to sprout under the sun and seeing lovely blossoms surrounding garden sheds are pure bliss.

Studies Say So

Many studies have proven gardening to be an effective stress-buster to those who rely on it for work or simply as a hobby. Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium found in soil, has been found to stimulate the release of serotonin, a chemical that plays an important role in the regulation of mood. And it isn’t any wonder this chemical is called the “molecule of happiness” or “happiness drug.” Its presence or absence has a major impact on a person’s overall mental health and happiness.

Strong evidence shows that getting your hands dirty with soil in the garden can increase the serotonin levels in your brain. So, thanks to the bacteria present in your garden soil, getting dirty has never been this beneficial, even in a biological point of view.

Reaping What You’ve Sown

The reward of having flowers, fruits or vegetables right in your own backyard has also been shown to bring happiness to whoever planted them. According to research, a flush of dopamine is released in the reward center of the brain when gardeners “see” or “smell” the fruits of their labor after toiling in their backyards. Simply sniffing the flowers and fruits you’ve picked from your garden is a great therapy for individuals who aren’t exactly in a happy mood.

Getting Physical

Aside from your emotions and your brain, your physique also benefits from gardening. 45 minutes of digging and planting in the backyard can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of joining an aerobics class.

Aside from working out your muscles, your skin, bones and immune system also benefit from the good dose of Vitamin D from the sun that helps prevent various diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.

Health and Wealth

In addition to the advantages mentioned above, growing your own garden, particularly an edible one, helps keep your finances in good condition. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is more inexpensive and efficient.

So if you’re down in the dumps, don’t immediately reach for a bottle of beer, rant endlessly or take it out on your neighbor. Rather, head to your garden shed and grab your tools for an hour or so of gardening activity. It will stimulate the release of happy chemicals in your brain and will consequently improve your mood and make your day more worthwhile.

About the Author
Raquel Merc has mainly contributed about travel and lifestyle. But she’s also started writing a variety of articles on home management and parenting since becoming a mother in 2010. Among her recent works feature ideas and insights on food, home organisers, and garden sheds.

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