How Your Garden Can Soothe Stress
What if there was a stress reliever so powerful that it helped surgery patients recover sooner, reduced blood pressure and muscle tension in minutes and even helped ADD kids to focus?
Good news—this remedy actually exists—and it’s available without a prescription and free of unpleasant side effects. This amazing restorative is nature—looking at greenery and walking through growing environments. These documented benefits include speeding healing, reducing stress and enhancing the ability to concentrate.
An eye-opening study done in 1994 showed that post-operative patients with a view of trees recovered more quickly, left the hospital earlier and needed fewer doses of strong painkillers than similar patients with views of a blank wall.
Viewing nature and walking through a natural environment reduced blood pressure and muscle tension in test subjects, several studies show, and increased the amplitude of alpha brain waves, which are present when the mind is in a state of relaxed alertness.
“Some of the changes could be measured within minutes of being exposed to the natural settings,” according to Dr. Terry Hartig, co-author of one of the studies.
Stress has been linked to premature aging and greater susceptibility to illness, so preventing stress and recovering from stressful situations becomes an important health issue.
A Natural Brain-Refresher
Even more amazing, a group of studies show that looking at a natural view enhances mental functioning. A 2001 study of children with attention deficit disorder showed that the children’s ability to concentrate, complete tasks and follow directions improved dramatically after they played in green, natural settings (compared to playing indoors or in paved outdoor settings). The greener the setting, the more symptoms were relieved.
The University of Illinois researchers wrote “The ability to deliberately pay attention...draws on voluntary attention. Like a mental muscle, voluntary attention becomes fatigued with exertion. To refresh and renew this mental muscle, the use of involuntary attention is effective.
Involuntary attention is effortless…Simply noticing the sights, sounds and scents of the environment exemplifies it. Studies of adults have shown that time spent in nature uses involuntary attention especially effectively. Voluntary attention rests, and the ability to concentrate is renewed.”
This refreshing, renewing quality of natural settings explains why other studies show that office workers and students from grade school to college who work in rooms with daylight and views of natural settings are less distracted, more productive and report less fatigue
Bring these benefits home to yourself and your family by creating a home garden to look at and live in. Everyone who works at home—parents, homemakers, home office workers and telecommuters as well as children at their studies--can benefit from the reduced stress, faster healing and refreshed ability to concentrate that a garden setting offers.
If your garden is unkempt, overgrown and uninviting, it’s a source of stress, not a stress-reliever.
To take the first step towards a healthful personal environment, send for your free Garden Inventory Check List. This 10-page questionnaire provides the opportunity to focus on your specific garden needs and preferences, and becomes the foundation for creating a garden that is uniquely yours and offers you and your family the restorative benefits of a green and growing environment.