Gardening is good for mental health and is an excellent therapeutic hobby. And while you may not be great at growing things, still there are a number of benefits that you can derive from gardening.
One of the positive things you can get from a gardening hobby is that it can inspire you to develop simple yet effective good habits that can improve your life.
Here are 7 simple yet effective good habits that you can develop as inspired by gardening.
1. Drink water
Water is required for plant survival. It is also one of the most basic things that we, as humans, require to survive.
Most of us, however, prefer to quench our thirst with soda and other beverages. Because of the sugar and caffeine content, soda is an addictive drink of choice, and it is preferred over water.
However, in order to live a healthy lifestyle, we must drink plenty of water. Water not only keeps us hydrated, but it also keeps our bodies running smoothly. Water performs the following vital functions in our bodies:
- transporting nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- flushing out bacteria from your bladder
- assisting proper digestion
- preventing constipation
- maintaining normal blood pressure
- lessening joint friction impact
- protecting vital organs and tissues
- regulating normal body temperature
- maintaining balanced electrolytes.
The general amount of fluid intake, which includes water, food, and other beverages, is 2.7 liters for women and 2.7 liters for men.
The amount of fluid consumed, however, varies depending on the following factors:
- the climate you live in,
- the foods you eat,
- current temperature,
- health restrictions,
- your activity or activities, and
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you want to get into the habit of drinking water, gradually replace your soda consumption with water.
For example, if you normally drink soda after meals, try drinking water after one meal for a week. Drink water instead of soda after lunch and dinner the following week. And so on until you no longer have a preference for soda.
It will also help you to have a water bottle within reach or to carry around so that you are reminded to drink up throughout the day.
2. Get enough sunlight
Getting enough sunlight is another important factor for plants to grow and bear flowers or fruits. Gardeners understand this basic rule and plan the area where they will grow their plants based on the amount of sunlight they require.
So, taking a cue from plants and gardening, another good habit that we should develop is regular sunlight exposure. To ensure that our bodies function properly.
Sunlight allows the body to produce vitamin B3 for-
- healthy bones,
- management of the body’s calcium levels,
- reduction of inflammation,
- improvement of our immune system, and
- support glucose metabolism.
In addition to these benefits, researchers discovered a link between sunlight exposure and lower blood pressure levels, as well as lower death rates from cardiovascular disease.
Furthermore, sunlight improves our sleep and circadian rhythms by regulating the levels of melatonin and serotonin in our bodies.
Finally, adequate sunlight exposure improves our mood by allowing our bodies to produce beta-endorphins. This substance relieves pain and provides a general sense of well-being.
3. Learn something new
Gardeners are known to provide their plants with fertilizer in addition to water and sunlight. This is because the soil in which they grow loses nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The nutrients in the soil can be replenished by adding fertilizer, allowing the plants to grow healthy.
So, just like soil, we need to fertilize our minds in order for them to grow and improve. Continuous learning is the fertilizer we require.
It is thus a good habit to learn something new on a regular basis, if not daily.
How do you develop the habit of lifelong learning?
Be curious. Take Albert Einstein’s advice and never lose your holy curiosity. Always be eager to learn new things. Here are some things you can do to satisfy your holy curiosity.
Go ahead and read anything that interests you. In whatever format, whether it’s an ebook, audiobook, physical book, an article, a blog post, an essay, or poetry. Just read.
Because reading is the simplest and most effective way to learn new things.
In addition, reading allows you to gain insight into how others think and feel. You will be able to broaden your knowledge. Get an idea or a different perspective.
Moreover, reading allows you to think in new and creative ways. So, if you’re just getting started with your learning habit, pick something to read.
Traveling to a new place is another way to learn something new if you have the means and opportunity.
When you travel, you open yourself up to new experiences. You are open to learning a new language, experiencing a new culture, trying new foods, and making new friends.
This willingness to try new things allows you to learn, grow, and improve yourself.
Shake things up
To keep learning, you also need to do something different. Get uncomfortable.
Learn about subjects that are especially uninteresting to you. Improve in areas where you believe you are weak. Find out if you have any hidden talents.
Join a small group for public speaking, for example, if you are afraid of public speaking. Take up an unusual skill, such as marathon training, if you are not into physical activities.
Don’t become complacent about your abilities and skills. Be proactive in your search for new opportunities to develop and improve.
Keep an open mind
Even if other people’s opinions or perspectives differ from yours, don’t dismiss them.
Keep an open mind and hear what others have to say. You can learn about their thought process and see if their ideas make more sense than what you have.
Having an open mind allows you to gain insight. Experiment with new things. Practice critical thinking and accept or revise incorrect or outdated beliefs or information.
As a result, keeping an open mind is an essential component of continuous learning and development.
According to research, being physically active makes you more receptive to learning. So use this as motivation to get moving—exercise, dance, shoot some hoops, or go for a walk around your neighborhood.
Plants absorb just enough water they need in order to grow. For this reason, their pots have drainage in them so that extra water can seep out and therefore avoiding root rot.
Thus, the habit we can derive from this gardening fact is that of generosity.
Developing the habit of generosity is not only good for those who receive the goodwill but is most especially beneficial to the giver.
The benefits of generosity are the following:
- Reduced blood pressure,
- Improves our mood,
- Lowers our levels of stress,
- Improves our relationships, and
- Can improve life-expectancy
Planning is an important aspect of gardening. Because it enables the gardener to plan what and where to plant in order for it to grow the best or yield the most harvest.
Having a plan helps us to stay on track towards our goals. And so, planning is another habit that we can learn from gardening.
Making planning a habit allows for the following:
- List down your goals,
- Break down your big goals into smaller chunks for greater success,
- List down the things that need to be done,
- Have a clear picture of the things you can and can’t do,
- Prepare solutions for the things you can’t do,
- Increase your self-confidence,
- Become more efficient,
- Get creative,
- Improve your decision-making skills, and
- Improves your focus.
6. Get rid of weeds
Another important factor in gardening is getting rid of weeds.
Weeds compete with your plants for resources such as nutrients, space, sunshine, and water. If they grow and multiply, they will stunt the growth of your plants and will even lead to killing off your plants.
It is therefore important as well in life to develop the habit of weeding. Or getting rid of things that compete with your resources such as time, money, or attention.
Develop the habit of being focused and avoiding distractions. Distractions abound especially in this age of the internet. Often we find ourselves spending hours on social media or streaming services that affect our productivity.
How to develop the habit of being focused? Here are some tips for you to try:
- Have a plan the night before or early in the morning before you start your day.
- Set a time dedicated for work and work alone.
- Declutter your workspace.
- Limit your time on social media, TV viewing, or gaming. For example, you may allot to have 15 minutes on Instagram or Facebook. Or one episode of your favorite TV series.
- Get enough sleep so you are well-rested and productive during the day. A well-rested mind and body will have more focus and not get easily distracted.
- Practice meditation.
- Set smaller goals. You may get distracted by worry when your goals are too big and seem impossible to achieve. So break them down into smaller chunks so you will be able to get down to the business of achieving and actually getting things done.
There is no assurance that the seed you plant will grow to become a beautiful flower or provide a bountiful harvest. But knowing that you will benefit from your hard work and trusting in your ability to grow things is rooted in optimism.
Optimism is another good habit that we can learn from gardening.
Optimism doesn’t mean you see the world in rose-colored glasses. It simply means that despite the bad things, you allow yourself to see the positive side of it. Thus, optimism allows you to cope and deal better with the ups and downs of life.
Developing the habit of optimism allows you to experience the following benefits:
- Overcoming failure more easily,
- Being more open to new ideas, new possibilities, or opportunities,
- Reduced stress,
- Lead a healthier lifestyle,
- Improved relationships,
- Improved performance and productivity.
Here are some ideas you can try in order to develop the habit of optimism.
Seek to better understand your interpretation of a “bad” event.
Sometimes events are not bad in and of themselves, it’s more of our interpretation of the event that makes it bad. So it may help to step back a little before reacting to something.
Focus on solutions
Don’t waste time and energy in finding who is at fault and who should take the blame. This process does not help and will only make you focus on the problem.
Finding a solution to a problem is the optimistic approach. This trains the mind to think in terms of solutions and to progress to more productive tasks and activities.
Be mindful of the company you keep
Make friends with people who share your positive and optimistic outlook. Avoid people who constantly complain and lead your mind to negative thoughts.
Accept things you can’t control
Know that there are things you can and can’t control. Keep in mind that things will turn out just fine.
Reframe negative thoughts
When your mind wanders to negative thoughts, learn to become aware of them. And then ask yourself the possibility of the negative thoughts actually happening.
Often it’s just our natural tendency to the negative that has led us to the thought. Once we become aware of it, we can then redirect our minds to more positive thoughts.
Gardening is a pleasurable experience with numerous advantages. Furthermore, it motivates you to form good habits that you can use to improve your life.
Here are 7 good habits you can develop inspired by gardening:
- Drink water,
- Get enough sunlight,
- Learn something new,
- Get rid of weeds, and
Please share your thoughts or ideas about 7 Good Habits To Develop (Inspired By Gardening) in the comments below. And if you liked this article, you might be interested as well in these articles:
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