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"The Fresh Air Will Do You Good!"
We've all heard our parents say it as we were growing up, especially when they want us to go to the shop for some milk, and although there may have been an ulterior motive, your parents did have a point...
Did you know that children today spend half the time playing outside in comparison to their parents? And Brits as a whole, spend 90% of their time indoors. Spending this amount of time away from the outside world can cause a multitude of issues including:
✿ Poor Social Skills
Spending too much time on video games, social media and watching TV, cuts you off from the outside world. This could lead to children and adults being shy and unable to interact with others in the real world.
✿ Lack of Creativity
Lack of oxygen to the brain can cause you to feel lethargic and unmotivated, which can truly diminish your creativity.
✿ Mental Health Issues
Being indoors can result in you feeling fed up, restless, tired and stir-crazy. This can cause you to get more irritable and upset than usual, which could lead to deep rooted mental problems.
Surprisingly, sitting on your bum all day in front of TV, computer and phone screens does not help you lose weight. It also encourages unhealthy eating habits such as snacking and fast food, especially since it is so easy to grab your phone and order takeout which can contribute to obesity
✿ Bad Eyesight
Spending time away from natural light can ruin your eyesight, due to the fact that the contrast of indoor light changes the way that your eyes 'evolve' as such, meaning near sightedness could be an issue in the future.
With so many people spending such little time in the open air, is there any wonder why mental health issues have been on the rise in the last few years?
✿ Vitamin D Deficiency
Even though you spend the day bathed in the light of all of the screens around you, this light does not contain the Vitamin D which the sun emits. It is estimated that around half of the adults in the UK have Vitamin D levels which are lower than the required amount. This could lead to a variety of problems including:
An increase of falls and fractures – specifically in older people
It can destroy your immune system meaning you will get ill more often.
You may feel tired a lot more often.
Bone & Back Pain which could impact your daily activities
Gardening is a great way to relieve the pressure of your day, get away from technology, and be at one with nature. And at the end of it all, you have a beautiful garden to sit in and enjoy the wonders of the world around you.
The great thing about spending time in the garden, is that it is literally on your doorstep, which means anyone can do it, even if you are unable to leave the house. Just get yourself a gorgeous garden swing, bench or sun lounger and you're all set to watch the world pass you by.There are many other positives of gardening such as:
✿ Helping You Lose Weight
It's probably no surprise to you that gardening burns a lot of calories. Working in the garden for 30 to 45 minutes a day can burn 150 to 300 calories.
✿ Making You Happier
Exercise releases endorphons which make you feel good, and gardening is no exception, in fact it probably does a better job, due to the fact that you are connecting with nature.
✿ Improving Your Mental Health
Gardening can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen also shows that nature based activites can also reduce stress caused by PTSD in veterans
✿ Improving Your Physical Health
Obviously, gardening is exercise, so you would assume that it will help you get more fit, but it also strengthens your heart, increases stamina, relieves headaches due to tension, improves flexibility and so much more! It has also been shown to reduce the risk of dementia by 36% in a study titled Dubbo Study of the elderly MJA
✿ Teaching Patience and Determination
I'm not going to lie, growing flowers, trees and plants can be hard work, they are a living organism which need taking care of, in order to do this successfully it takes patience, determination, and a lot of hard work. Gardening teaches you the value of these qualities, and in turn, creates something beautiful.
✿ Gardening Can Save You Money
We all love a bargain and tend to look for ways to save money, it's human nature. Creating a vegetable patch or setting up a greenhouse in your garden will stop the need to buy vegetables for life! And imagine how much you spend on herbs which you could grow yourself!
✿ Boosting Your Immune System
The vitamin D you are soaking up from the sun helps ward off cold and flu, and the soil which you are overturning contains friendly bacteria which has been proven to alleviate symptoms of various health issues such as allergies, asthma and depression.
✿ Gardening Creates Amazing & Unique Photo Opportunities
Creating a beautiful garden can also create wonderful memories, especially if you are doing it with loved ones. So grab a camera and start taking pictures of your hard work. It will make you proud to see what you have achieved and how much fun you had doing it.
A study conducted by Yeungnam University in 2018 has proven that horticulture related activities reduces stress related to interpersonal relationships, school life, personal problems and home life in children who have mental health issues. So get outdoors with your kids, let them plant some flowers, pick some apples, put up a tent or even make some good old fashioned mud pies. Whatever the weather, being outside in nature will help improve your mood, as long as you embrace it.
Being in the presence of the amazing colours in your garden can help raise your mood and bring happiness into your life. According to psychologists, each colour can evoke different moods and emotions. Green tends to be a prominent colour in nature, and it is often described as being the colour of compassion as well as being refreshing, tranquil, calming, exciting and optimistic.
Other colours which are often found in the garden, in flowers and plants also have positive associations as you can see below:
Red – Energetic, Exciting, Powerful, Fun, Passionate, Bold.
Blue – Sincere, Calming, Inspirational.
Yellow – Warmth, Energetic, Cheerful.
Purple – Exotic, Sensual, Wisdom, Soothing, Mysterious.
Orange – Spiritual, Energetic, Happy.
Pink – Joyful, Creative, Feminine, Vibrant, Refreshing, Euphoric.
Brown – Strength, Reliability, Solid, Resilience, Dependability, Security Safety.
These are just a few examples of the positives of gardening, of course there are many many other benefits of gardening and being outdoors. If you have never tried gardening before, next time you are feeling, anxious, on edge or down, why not grab a trowel and give it a go. It's amazing how relaxing it can be, what have you got to lose?
If you already are an avid gardener then we'd love to hear from you! Please let us know in the comments below what it is you love about gardening and how it makes you feel.