Eating vegetables makes you healthy but planting your own has its own benefits, too. Research says that gardening distracts people from their worries and problems. People with depression had improvements in their mental health after 12 weeks of engaging in gardening. Also, based on a study, spending at least half an hour of gardening dropped the participants’ cortisol–the hormone responsible for stress–and boosted their moods. That said, here are some tips in starting your own garden.

First, you have to keep it simple and start small. It does not have to cover your whole backyard; a few potted plants will do. You also have to consider the time and effort that you’re willing to exert on this project–a garden is supposed to be a stress-reliever, so once it starts to stress you out, simplify it!

Second, when gardening, leave your smartphones behind and unplug. Dig in to your plants and forget the world for a while, at least for an hour. Based on research, excessive use of mobile phones increases stress and depression, and it also decreases efficiency. When it’s garden time, it’s garden time!

Having a garden can also be a creative avenue for you. You can use gardening to project what you want to see to help you relax. Dr. Leonard P. Perry from the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science said that certain woodland designs and flowery gardens reduce stress because of their colors.

Live in the moment. Appreciate nature and be one with your garden. Observe the skies, feel the texture of the soil, smell the flowers, watch the ants, and be totally engaged in your garden, just for a while. Set aside your problems and dwell in the nature you hold in your hands.

And lastly, do not be afraid to get your hands dirty! Grow your own fruits and vegetables because very few things are more satisfying than eating something you grew yourself.

Spending 30 minutes in your garden isn’t too much and it would definitely help your mind be in peace. Take care of your plants while taking care of yourself, too. What are you waiting for? Start your own garden today!

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