Benefits of Getting Your Hands Dirty

No gloves? No problem!

Have you ever arrived at the garden to realize you forgot your gardening gloves? Well, don’t beat yourself up, because there are studies that show that digging in the dirt can be good for you. We know that gardening is a fun way to reduce stress and ease anxiety. And during a time when most of our plans for the summer are starting to look a lot different because of Covid-19, we know that the benefits of gardening provide a much needed break from the daily stress of the unknown.

The main benefit of getting your hands dirty in the garden is actually simply the act of getting dirty. The bacteria that live in the dirt have been proven to increase levels of serotonin simply by inhaling the smell. Serotonin is a happy chemical, a natural anti-depressant and strengthens the immune system. Lack of serotonin in the brain causes depression. Also, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh soil? A dose of serotonin can help ease anxiety and generally make you happier.

Now days with our hyper-clean, germicidal, protective clothing, obsessive health-and-safety society, there’s been a lot of new research showing up in recent years regarding how good dirt actually is for us. They say that a dirt-deficient childhood is implicated in contributing to quite a spectrum of illnesses including allergies, asthma and mental disorders.

Harvest High

There is another chemical that is released when we garden, dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain that makes you feel good.

Named the “Harvest High” by researchers, it is said that this chemical reaction developed originally in our hunter-gatherer cultures as a reward for the discovery of foods in the wild that sustained us.

When you grow your own vegetables, you receive a dopamine boost every time you harvest. Did you know, even seeing or smelling a fruit or vegetable that you’ve grown prompts your brain to release dopamine.

My mom always said fresh air was a simple remedy to all sorts of ailments. Above all we know mom’s are always right. So, get out breath in some fresh air, get your hands dirty and pick some veggies.

So there you have it ……Gardening really does make you happy!

Happy Gardening,

Mary Church

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