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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

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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