We are constantly searching for ways to improve our health and our lives, and looking to nature for some help might be beneficial.  Many activities can offer healthy ways to exercise your mind and body, but gardening is one of the best for offering a large variety of health benefits.  


Gardening is better for you than most people realize.  Growing beautiful flowers or your own fruits and vegetables can impact you on many levels.  An obvious benefit of growing your own food is a fresh, healthy diet.  Beyond nutrition is the satisfaction and feeling of confidence in growing things that can go on your dinner table, whether on your plate or in a flower vase.


Getting your hands dirty can also actually keep you healthy.  Exposure to the germs and organisms commonly found in dirt can really give your immune system a boost.  If you have kids, this is a great reason to let them help you in the garden despite having to give them a bath later.


The exercise you can get from spending a while out in the garden can play a big role in decreasing your chances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.  The exercise, fresh air, and overall peacefulness that you will get while gardening will help both your body and your mind continue to function positively.


Spending time in the sun and cultivating your garden teaches you to be responsible for your plants.  Watching them grow from seeds to blooming foliage instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in your daily endeavors.  These behaviors and feelings lead to good mental health.  Horticulture therapy has been used for dementia and alzheimer’s patients due to its positive nurturing effects and engaging aspects.


Sometimes you need some alone time to unwind after a long day.  What better way to relax and revel in nature than to tend to your own garden?  Stress and anxiety are reduced the more time you spend outside.  


Gardening can teach us to cope with life.  Gardens are often used in remembrance of life.  Graves of loved ones are adorned with flowers and shrubbery to honor those lost and to emphasize that life continues, and even flourishes, after death.  


Your garden can be your own, whether you are interested in growing your own vegetables, or do it simply for the beauty of putting gorgeous flower combinations together.  It doesn’t matter if you need to make it in  your front yard  or on an urban rooftop.  Figure out what type of garden might make you happy and invest the time and effort into making it your own.  


Don’t forget to put a bench or table and chairs in the midst of your garden.  You may want to just sit for a little while and soak in the beauty of it and appreciate the fruits of your labor.  A quiet night in your own homemade slice of heaven could be exactly what the doctor ordered.


Picture credit: Pixabay