Reduce Stress Through Gardening
Reported by a report by Laura Drotleff from Greenhouse Grower Magazine in February, 2016, “Gardening is a stress-buster and offers an ideal break from technology.” She discussed that whenever our ability to focus on our technologies reaches up to a saturation point, we get more prone to problems, disruptions, and stress. She states this attention fatigue could be reversed by starting an alternative type of attention, known as “involuntary attention”, as opposed to the trouble and stress-filled forced attention essential to fully understand technologies. These replenishing varieties of of attentions are those we usually use to take pleasure from nature. Thus, you can reduce stress by gardening.
She goes on to suggest, “Gardening may be even a more effective stress buster than other leisure activities.” She stated a study completed in the Netherlands (as reported by CNN) which adds to our perception of exactly how much gardening results in our peace and contentment. Multiple students who had just finished a stressful task were then divided into one group that did some recreational gardening and another group that did some recreational reading. The group that gardened were then found to possess “lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.” Real evidence that gardening reduces stress!
The perfect illustration of how gardening helps relieve stress is the story of my mother. When my father was in his late 70s he had a stroke, which left him in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life and could not tend to his garden (which was legendary). My mother’s life permanently changed from having the role of wife to now having the role of full-time nurse as my father was totally dependent on her. My mother learned to love my father’s garden as it became her sanctuary as well as a place of solace. Her garden was regarded as holy ground, and she was the new master of it. While she continued to grow the very same vegetables my father grew, she added to the garden her own master’s touch by mixing roses, irises and daisies in between the mounds and rows. After my father died, the garden went on to help my mother by providing her the cabability to cope, triumph over depression, and providing her strength in body, mind and spirit.
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.