You don't have to be a gardening pro to harvest happiness. There's something about getting your hands dirty for a good cause that makes a soul sing for joy. The minute you plant your first seed, you're transported to the land of contentment. Why is it that even beginning gardeners seem happier than other folks? Here are 5 ways gardening increases happiness levels, even for rookies.
1. Creation feeds the soul.
Let's face it, we humans are happiest when we're creating. The garden is the ultimate natural creation, whether master gardener large or beginner small. There's something about that sense of accomplishment we get from seeing our hard work come to fruition in the garden. What could possibly be more glorious than creating something to sustain us, mind, body and soul?
2. Healthy food breeds a healthy mental state.
Nutrition isn't just good for the body. It's good for the mind. It gives us a sense of well being, through good nutrition. Sometimes we forget that the brain, our conscientiousness, is a body part too. Just like any other organ, it needs healthy food to function properly. Gardeners are happier, in part, due to the fact that they eat more fresh, natural foods than anyone. That goes for all gardeners, pro or otherwise.
3. Hard work releases tension.
Gardening is no walk in the park. So, why does it make us so happy? Working off steam with physical labor is something beginner gardeners and pros have in common. In fact, beginning gardeners may work harder to get the same results. That's OK. The more they weed, shovel and hoe, the happier they get. All that pent up tension their day job doesn't release gets worked out in the garden.
4. Beauty abounds in the garden.
A garden is a beautiful thing. Colors and textures abound. It's like a painting by a great master. Gardening connects us to the splendor of the natural world. That's something our modern society sometimes fails to do. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, as the saying goes. Master gardeners have no monopoly on the appreciation of a work of art.
5. Don't discount fresh air and sunshine.
People who garden get outside more than others. That means they soak up Vitamin D and breathe fresh, clean air. Vitamin D helps produce serotonin, the happiness nutrient. Breathing fresh, clean air is a far cry from couch potato-ville. It makes all gardeners feel refreshed and rejuvenated, regardless of their experience level. Gardening is guaranteed to boost your mood, whether you're a seasoned professional or you just want to throw a few seeds out and see what comes of them. It's a natural high.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.