Our grandparents were right – a bit of time out in the garden really does lift your mood! It’s now spring and what better time than now to tend to your garden out in warmth of the springtime sun.
Research shows that there are actually antidepressant microbes in the soil that have the same effect as Prozac. The soil microbe Mycobacterium vaccae activates a group of neurons that produce the brain chemical seritonin – which makes us feel relaxed and happier.
Of course there are scores of other reasons why venturing out into the garden is very positive for our health and wellbeing. A 2017 report by the US National Institute of Health outlines the health benefits of direct experience with nature: exposure to nature allows restoration from attention fatigue (when the brain is tired from concentrating too much on a purely cognitive task); gardening is a form of exercise, getting us out of our mind and back into our bodies, which benefits people both physically and psychologically; gardening with others (if you have a shared allotment for example) can reinforce a sense of community; and turning that soil also ensures a healthier diet if you are growing your own veges!
So plant some stuff with your kids these holidays. Get your hands dirty! The ‘feel good’ soil is just out the door – all natural, free, and at our fingertips!
This is our considered but brief and light introduction to the topic. For further information please check out: