Having a well-balanced life is the key to happiness and fulfillment. This can be hard to find with all life can throw at you. So to help, here are the 7 dimensions to seek to keep a healthy balance, and how gardening helps:
1. Physical Wellness
Gardening provides a good amount of exercise while distracting you from the fact that you are actually getting a workout. Eating more nutritious, fresh food is better for our bodies; and if you grow organically you are keeping toxins out of your system as well.
2. Intellectual Wellness
Being open to new ideas and challenges, learning something different, and keeping your mind active all are part of wellness. Whether you are trying out an unusual plant, learning about a different way to grow, or just doing a search online to solve your pest issue, you are improving in this area. When you can share that learning with kids, you are improving their intellectual wellness too.
3. Environmental Wellness
This is where gardening really shines. By keeping man-made pesticides and herbicides out of your garden, by replacing grass with food, and by planting beneficial plants for bees and other insects, gardeners have a very direct mark on the environment. Did you know that a dandelion is one of the first flowers available as food for bees in the spring? Gardeners who are aware don’t douse it with Round-Up, and thereby they have a positive impact on the planet.
4. Occupational Wellness
Chances are you do not garden for a living, but rather as a hobby. Still, finding balance by having gardening as a part of your routine contributes to your overall well-being. You can add to this by bringing plants to work, or volunteering at a local community garden. Getting paid isn’t the point, happiness is.
5. Social Wellness
We have never met a gardener who wasn’t more than willing to freely share what they know, and often what they grow, with others. Social media has connected us in a way like never before. Still, face to face is more personal and gardeners would do well to seek out those experiences. Something as simple as attending a master gardener workshop or a flower show can contribute to multiple dimensions of wellness.
6. Spiritual Wellness
The indigenous peoples of this country believed in the power of being in touch with the earth spiritually. Many cultures have meditative areas in their gardens to become more in tune with nature. Is there any other connection like being one with the source of life itself?
7. Emotional Wellness
Having your hands in the soil produces chemicals in the brain that bring about a feeling of happiness. Individuals with varied mental illnesses, including severe depression, have been found to show significant improvement through gardening. Ask a gardener what makes them happy, and ‘playing in the dirt’ is most likely the response.
Striving for a balance in all these areas is what leads to a happier, more fulfilled life. Gardening is a great way to make that happen. Plus, you get produce!
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This post was written by Gardening J exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.