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Gardening is Not Only Fun and Engaging, It Benefits You in Many Ways

Gardening is Not Only Fun and Engaging, It Benefits You in Many Ways

When initially starting out, gardening can seem a bit overwhelming as it takes a bit of effort to really get it going. This is why it is vital that you have researched it and know what type of equipment you will need, as well as what type of compost and seeds are best for your region and time of year. There are so many benefits to having your own garden and the resources available are pretty much unlimited, as the trend of being green is only getting stronger. Whether you are looking to benefit your wallet or your body, you can’t go wrong with a garden.

Benefit Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Gardening gets you into the fresh air, helping you to unwind after a hard day. Mentally, your focus will shift to nurturing the garden—this allows the daily bothers to slip away. You will also be expanding your knowledge to learn what does or does not work for your garden in terms of nutrients and the like. Stepping out into a garden allows you to breathe in all of the greenery to revitalize your body and put you in touch with the things that truly matter.

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Your Home’s Resale Value

It has been said that a garden has the potential to increase a home’s value anywhere from 5% to 11%, or more depending on how much you commit to investing. The garden should complement the size and style of the home. A smaller home can support a modest garden, while a larger home will support a garden that is larger with a bit more intricate planning.

Large Families or Low Income Families

Growing your own food will help to offset the cost of food, which is beneficial for anyone, especially those who are part of a low income demographic or those who have a large family. People all over the world are seeing the effects of the current economic state of the world but luckily a garden can be outside or inside at just a fraction of the cost of regularly purchasing fruits and vegetables.

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Food Will Taste Better

You will have greater satisfaction with eating something that you have grown. And one of the amazing things about having a garden is that you will know exactly what is or is not used in the growth process. Pesticides can alter the taste of fruits, vegetables, and herbs and if you are taking the natural route, your food will taste amazing right off of the vine.

It is Really Exercise

Don’t worry if you don’t make it to the gym—it is amazing how much your body will benefit from gardening. All of the building, digging, and planting will cause your body to ache—but in a good way. The first few days you will be sore in places that you didn’t know there were muscles, and that just means that you got in a great workout.

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Your Body Will Benefit in The Long Run

There is a stigma that gardening is for older people, but the truth is that there are great reasons that so many older folk take part in the activity. All of the digging, rearranging, and planting actually work on the dexterity of the hands and strengthens them, keeping the muscles in the hands quite agile. Older people may pick up gardening to gain this type of strength back, while those who are younger will hopefully build the strength and keep at it for the future.

Great Source of Vitamin D

Many people don’t realize that they are lacking in vitamin D, and gardening will ensure that the body gets all that it needs. It is vital to remember to put on sunscreen though, even if you live in an area that is overcast. Vitamin D will help you inside and out, boosting your mood while you are productive with your fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Natural sunlight is the best way to get Vitamin D.

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Featured photo credit: Garden Aura via gardenaura.com

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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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