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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 September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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