There is no sweeter feeling of serenity or tranquility than when you pause to enjoy the beauty of your own garden. Watching your plants grow and participating in their growth reconnects you with nature, and almost immediately dissolves any other troubling thought. Digging your hands in the earth’s soil, planting seeds that will eventually grow, all of these activities associated with gardening have the power to alleviate tension and ultimately nurture the soul.

Research has shown that connecting with nature can provide extraordinary health benefits. Setting the mind at ease, and putting it almost into a meditative state, gardening has the power to boost immune function, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and improve your overall livelihood.  It allows your body to soak up healthy vitamin D from the sunshine, and studies have shown that being outdoors in garden-like settings even has the ability to reduce agitation and aggression among older patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Best of all, gardening is a great form of healthy exercise. Imagine doing something you love and still burning calories? It has been said that 30 minutes of gardening can get all of your major muscle groups working, like your legs, arms, shoulders, neck, buttocks, and back. Moving heavy bags of mulch and carrying heavy, potted plants is enough to really get your blood pumping!

Lastly, gardening is a great activity to not only bring the immediate family together, but whole communities, especially if everyone works for a cause, like growing organic vegetables to prevent exposure to pesticides and other toxins present in commercially grown food. The benefits from this tranquil yet productive activity are truly limitless!