There is no argument that the more we are detached from nature, the more we feel off balance. Studies have shown that we can relieve stress, ease depression, and even get better mental focus just by connecting with mother earth more.
But our modern lifestyle does not allow for that. We are usually piled on some seat the whole day, fingers tapping incessantly at a keyboard, eyes fixed on the screen. But a little nature time might do wonders. You don’t have to go on a hiatus and run off into the woods. It turns out that simple gardening can work well enough.
Gardening benefits you in two ways.
Firstly, you get a serotonin rush.
As you get your hands dirty and put the hoe to the ground, your muscles fire up, burn calories, and you let off some steam. This is the perfect setup for your system to flood the brain with serotonin, a hormone that is responsible for mood control and protects the brain. According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, an intense activity can elevate levels of serotonin in the brain. And that’s just the first part.
Dopamine during the harvest
So, your work has now paid off and your little garden is ready to be reaped. This once again sets you up for more feel good chemicals in the brain- dopamine. It is not clear why harvesting triggers the flooding of dopamine in the brain, but theory has it that this all started during the time we were hunter gatherers. Finding food by either gathering or hunting resulted in euphoric feelings and this still manifests today. You can get a rush of dopamine by simply seeing ripe fruits on a tree or plucking it.
We all know how mindfulness can bring about a sense of mental well-being. This tends to happen a lot when you engage in gardening. You are focused on getting the job done that your mind switches off any intrusive and depressive thoughts. This can give you some mental rest which is vital for you brain’s well-being.