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6 Joyful Things Happen When You Start Planting

6 Joyful Things Happen When You Start Planting

https://youtu.be/XlBs91RxxLk

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Robert Locke

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How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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