Take a moment to recap your typical day. You wake up early and probably go to work at an office somewhere. Aside from the occasional meeting, we’re willing to bet that you spend most of the day sitting at a desk. If you aren’t swamped with tasks, maybe you can get outside for a few minutes. Most days, though, you’re eating lunch at your desk. Then it’s time to go home. You cook dinner and spend a few hours catching up with family members. Maybe you watch an episode or two of your favorite show. Before going to bed, you scroll through your social media feed and catch up on emails. Of course, you plan to do it all again the next day.
What’s missing here? Sure, you make it a priority to have work-life balance and enjoy time to yourself. But what about connecting with nature? As mentioned by Anne Harding of CNN, gardeners view their hobby as the perfect antidote to the modern world. From the time we wake up until the time we put our head on the pillow, we’re essentially lost in a digital world. That’s why the sensory experience of gardening is so important. James Jiler of Urban GreenWorks says that it “allows people to connect to this primal state.”
Let’s dive into some of the ways gardening can improve your overall health.
It relieves stress – We can only take in so much from smartphones, tablets, and computers on a daily basis. The more we use these devices, the more irritable, error-prone, and stressed out we become. Experts recommend doing a self-check every once in a while. If you find yourself wanting to throw your computer out the window, consider going home that day and gardening for 30 minutes. Even just getting your hands dirty and pulling weeds for a while works wonders.
It leads to better mental health – Approximately 350 million people worldwide suffer from symptoms of depression. Now, we’re not going to argue that gardening has the same effect as taking your regular depression medication. Think about this, though: Christopher Lowry, an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado, spent time injecting mice with a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil. What’s interesting is Lowry found that this bacteria increases the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control mood and cognitive function. Lowry argues that not having this bacteria throws our immune system completely out of whack. Consequently, this can lead to inflammation from heart disease, diabetes, and depression. When you reintroduce these bacteria with gardening, you can help alleviate some of that inflammation.
It’s good exercise – Do you have trouble exercising the way you used to? Gardening is a great avenue for improving your fitness level. Granted, it’s unrealistic to compare gardening to lifting weights or running a marathon. However, gardening presents a number of low-impact exercise possibilities such as digging, planting, weeding, etc.
It improves brain health – Taking from the same CNN article, “Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia.” It would certainly be nice if experts could guarantee that if you garden for a certain amount of time the rest of your life that you wouldn’t experience issues with brain health. That obviously isn’t the case. Just keep in mind that the sights, sounds, and smells of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Even something simple such as smelling a flower or listening to the leaves rustle can have a positive impact.
It helps you eat healthier – Without a doubt, the food you grow yourself is the freshest food you can eat. Rather than settle for processed nonsense, you can treat yourself and the entire family to delicious fruits and vegetables. Of course, food seems to taste better from a home garden of your own.
About Our Healing Gardens
At Amber Freda Landscape Design, we are proud to specialize in healing gardens. We understand that, in a region dominated by concrete and steel, this space could be your lone connection to nature on a daily basis. A healing garden is more than just standard landscaping. It engages the senses through sight, touch, fragrance, and sound. Our garden design experts also create this urban oasis in a way that encourages interaction.
Clients appreciate Amber because she has a thoughtful, balanced approach to garden landscaping. Whereas other businesses take a “cookie-cutter” mentality with their landscape design services, she creates a landscape plan to fit your specific needs and wants.
We believe that you deserve the best garden design in town. Contact Amber Freda Landscape Design today for information regarding healing gardens, rooftop gardens, and other garden layout options.