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Gardening: A Popular Summer Activity

Gardening has always been a popular summer activity. Whether you have a large garden, a backyard porch or a balcony, gardening is something everyone can do. There are nutritional benefits from growing flowers, herbs, vegetables or fruits. It can feel quite gratifying putting homegrown food on the table. There are also mental, spiritual and emotional benefits as well. An article from Psychology Today says spending time outside is good for the body and mind. Here are a few ways gardening can lead to positive effects on our lives.

Physical Exercise – Gardening may not have the same physical impacts as going for a run or hitting the gym, but it most definitely is a good way to exercise. There are various motions that engage muscles. Simple activities like carrying dirt from one garden bed to another, digging holes and squatting are good workouts for your back, legs and core. While other common motions like planting flowers, trimming hedges and pulling weeds can build hand strength and workout your arms.

Reducing Stress – Being able to focus and put your mind on one task can help alleviate stress. Gardening allows you to let everything go and focus on the tasks at hand. Many people turn to gardening after a stressful day. Being outside can have a calming effect on the mind and help reduce anxiety.

Healthy Living – Growing your own fruits and vegetables organically is a healthy option. When you grow your own food, you are willing to try new things just because you grew it. Not everyone grows fruits or vegetables, or even grows enough to make it worthwhile, but the simple act of being outdoors means your body is getting Vitamin D from the sun. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!

Practice Acceptance and Moving Beyond Perfectionism – Sometimes trying to control things that we can’t leads to suffering. Sometimes we feel frustrated when things aren’t perfect. Many of us are guilty of this mindset. The more we can accept the limits of our control and the unpredictability of life, the more peace of mind we can find. Gardening is a great way to practice acceptance. In gardening you prepare the best environment you can for your plants, but you accept that Mother Nature is in control. No matter how carefully you plan and execute your garden, there are factors you can’t predict (bugs, bad weather, pesky rabbits). Gardening teaches you to accept what you can’t control and appreciate the effort you put in.

Developing a Growth Mindset – Gardening is a great opportunity to develop a growth mindset. When gardening you accept that you are constantly learning. When something doesn’t work out the way we had hoped, we view it as a learning opportunity rather than as a failure. A growth mindset can be highly beneficial outside of gardening. Instead of getting upset by our mistakes, having a growth mindset will help you keep a positive attitude and make the best out of things that don’t work in our favor.