When you think about gardening, what comes to mind? Maybe a serene oasis filled with colorful flora, butterflies fluttering around, and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves. This tranquil image can instantly invoke feelings of calmness and contentment.
But do you know that engaging in this simple hobby benefits your mental health significantly? According to recent scientific research, gardening helps us relax and focus. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with nature and get that feeling of accomplishment that’s quite rare nowadays.
The garden space used to be sacred for our ancestors. Firstly, it was a place to grow plants and get food; secondly, it was an area for chat and human connections. The entire family used to work in the garden, so it was a lot easier to strengthen the bonds between members.
The good news is that we can apply the same principles in today’s world. Gardening is still an activity most people of all ages enjoy, and you could tap into its therapeutic benefits to mend broken family relationships.
Moving forward, we’ll have a look at some of the benefits of gardening as a family.
Strengthen Your Connection with Food
In an era where children have no idea what food looks like in nature and adults choose fast food over a decent meal, we’ve lost our connection with food. Luckily, gardening can help solve this problem.
Growing your own food fosters a unique connection that transcends the mere act of eating. The process starts with planting a seed in the soil and watching as it gradually turns into a fruit-bearing plant. This progression, from a tiny seed to delicious produce, gives us an enhanced appreciation for the effort invested and the time elapsed.
Moreover, nurturing your plants shines a light on their individual requirements, such as sunlight hours or watering frequency. These insights help you appreciate the complexity of nature and its miraculous processes, which creates yet another level in this cooker-gardener relationship.
When you grow your own food, an intriguing psychological shift takes place – you start associating food not merely as sustenance or pleasure but rather as an achievement of labor and love. Each bite brings forth flavors seasoned with patience, perseverance, and dedication.
Moreover, there is a strong connection between food and family. Most of us can still remember the taste of the food our mothers and grandmothers used to make. So why not teach your kids about good food and help them build healthy eating habits?
Help The Family Heal
Families are not guaranteed to stay together or even maintain the same shape and level of relationships. Various life trials, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, and others, can lead to poor parent-children relationships.
For instance, just earning the entirety of child custody in a divorce doesn’t mean the fight is over. In fact, the challenges are just starting, as both the kids and the parents need time and space to heal.
This is where gardening as a shared activity can come into play. When you participate in gardening together, each of you assumes a different role. This collective endeavor encourages teamwork and cooperation, which are crucial factors for solidifying relationships.
On another note, consider the quiet moments during gardening – moments when tasks don’t demand chatter, only mutual effort. Surrounded by Mother Nature’s tranquility, these periods provide ample opportunities for open-hearted conversations. You’d be surprised at how nurturing plants can thaw icy barriers and encourage dialogues about deeper issues.
Witnessing familiar bonds reflected in nature’s cycles (seedlings protected until they mature into strong plants) can also transform perspectives about personal relationships for better understanding.
Other Benefits to Consider
Besides being a great space for connection with nature and with each other, the garden is also a space for health and growth. Each gardening session comes with a series of clear-cut benefits you shouldn’t ignore, such as:
Gardening might appear serene, but it requires constant movement, such as digging, watering, pruning, and more, providing ample body workload equivalent to a good workout session. This physical exertion increases the levels of endorphins, which are responsible for the ‘feel good’ hormones in our body.
Spending time amongst plants has been found to reduce cortisol levels significantly. Cortisol is our body’s primary stress hormone, and science shows regular contact with greenery contributes to greater happiness and overall life satisfaction.
It’s a Mood Booster
When you work in the garden, the mind is focused on the task at hand. As a result, it will be easier to let go of negative thoughts and feelings you may have been carrying on your shoulders.
Plus, by simply being in nature and moving, you get to relax and produce endorphins, which is another form of boosting your mood.
In conclusion, gardening together is a pretty cool way to fix what’s gone off track. It’s fun, relaxing, and a sneaky avenue for those much-needed heart-to-hearts. Plus, there’s the bonus of getting your hands dirty (which kids love) and making your dinner straight from your backyard.
So how about you give it a whirl? Start working on that family garden and watch it grow – just like your relationships!