Being in touch with nature is a wonderful way to enjoy many health benefits. You can plant a tree, flowers, shrubs or seeds. You do not need a garden either because you can take part in tree planting programs. Here are 6 joyful things that will happen when you start planting.
1. You’ll enjoy better mental health
Whether you are planting seedlings, flowers or trees, the contact with nature will boost your mood. Even if you are just looking at plants, planting them, pruning them, or watering them, the mental health benefits are considerable and have been noted in many studies. Researchers at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, have found contact with nature can help to prevent mental illness.
They know only too well how much depression is costing the Australian economy – AUD$3.3 billion annually in lost productivity. There needs to be widespread co-operation between local authorities, health service providers and urban planners to reduce this enormous bill and improve mental health.
You can make it happen now just by going out to the nearest park or buying a plant for your window box and planting it. Gardening and yard work can be equally beneficial, so you have no excuse!
2. You’ll love the experience of planting a tree
Take part in a tree planting event to help the environment. The National Forest in the UK organizes these events regularly. MillionTreesNYC in New York organizes similar events to preserve the urban forest.
Watch the featured video with these people telling us about how much they enjoyed the experience of planting a tree. It helps them to remember a loved one or celebrate a joyful milestone.
“A scheme whereby the family can have a fun day out, choosing and planting a tree, whilst contributing towards the creation of the forest for the future.” – Kath Morris, participant in a tree planting event.
3. You’ll feel better about helping the environment
Once you start planting trees on a regular basis, you will enjoy the feeling that you are doing something practical to save the environment and the planet from destruction. Did you know that a tree can absorb about 50 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and that can add up to one ton over 40 years? Also, by planting 20 million trees we can provide the earth with about 260 million tons of oxygen.
4. You’ll love the bonding experience
When you go planting or gardening with a loved one, friends or members of the community, you will experience the joy of bonding which few other activities can ever bring you. Enjoy creating beauty with your loved ones and planting favorite shrubs or flowers that have a special meaning for you.
Enjoy bonding more with your children by planting with them. They will learn to appreciate nature and plants. They will also be able to make better food choices too as they grow and mature. Processed foods are out but vegetables are in because your kids planted them and they can’t wait to sample their produce.
Treasure the bonding experience with neighbors and friends as you help to grow our own vegetables and make the world greener. Community gardening is now becoming very popular and we can see why.
5. You’ll enjoy the physical health benefits
The American Horticultural Therapy Association has a very interesting site which is well-worth checking out. The actual physical health benefits of planting and gardening in general are now widely accepted because there has been lots of research on this.
Pruning, planting and even sweeping the yard will help you get moving. You can burn more calories while enjoying the contact with plants and help reduce the chances of becoming overweight. Once you get into planting and growing vegetables, you will want to eat them and that is satisfying and healthy. Elderly people can benefit from reduced arthritis pains by gently exercising in the garden or park. There are also benefits in reducing blood pressure just by being in contact with nature; it stimulates the appetite and will help you get a good night’s sleep.
“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” – Claude Monet
6. You’ll rejoice in helping wildlife flourish
Your gardening can help wildlife flourish which is also vital for the planet’s survival.
Did you know that you can help the bees by planting crocuses like Irises? When the queen bees urgently need nectar in January, they can emerge if the temperatures are not too cold. Leaving warm and sheltered areas intact means that bees and small mammals can all nest there. If you leave some stiff-stemmed plants intact, you are providing little spaces for the hibernating insects. If you have a teasel plant (Dipsacus fullonum), some birds, like finches, can get valuable food from its seeds.
“My hands will get dirty holding your rose-shaped heart, because love is like gardening – it’s earthy and takes work to keep it alive.” – Jarod Kintz
Featured photo credit: Seedling planting/ USFS Region 5 via flickr.com