This article by Dr. Mercola explains what I know to be true-- that gardening is an effective way to fight depression --because I am a gardener. It is very difficult to be depressed when I am outside in God's beautiful earth helping Him to spread even more beauty!
Every year, some 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most-prescribed drugs in the United States.Despite this, the incidence of all forms of depression is now at 10 percent, according to 2012 statistics1, and the number of Americans diagnosed with depression increases by about 20 percent per year2.Such statistics are a strong indication that what we're doing is simply not working, and that instead, these drugs are contributing to other serious health problems. Fortunately, there are other, safer, more effective ways to address depression—including something as simple as spending more time outdoors.
Gardeners Are Happier than Most Others
Continue reading hereAccording to a recent survey for Gardeners World magazine3, 80 percent of gardeners reported being “happy” and satisfied with their lives, compared to 67 percent of non-gardeners.And the more time spent in the garden, the higher their satisfaction scores—87 percent of those who tend to their gardens for more than six hours a week report feeling happy, compared to those spending less time in their gardens.Monty Don4, a TV presenter and garden writer, attributes the well-being of gardeners to the “recharging” you get from sticking your hands in the soil and spending time outdoors in nature.I can personally confirm this as over the past year I have started a major interest in high performance agriculture and biodynamic gardening, and have been busy applying it to my edible and ornamental landscape. I hope to soon teach all that I have learned.Interestingly, fitness researchers have also found that when you exercise outdoors, you exercise harder but perceive it as being easier than when exercising indoors, which can have significant health benefits.This feeling of well-being can have more far-reaching implications for your physical health too. According to recent research from Johns Hopkins5, having a cheerful temperament can significantly reduce your odds of suffering a heart attack or sudden cardiac death. According to lead author Lisa R. Yanek, M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine6:"If you are by nature a cheerful person and look on the bright side of things, you are more likely to be protected from cardiac events. A happier temperament has an actual effect on disease and you may be healthier as a result."