Gardening in retirementWhen we retire, we shift the structure of our lives. Our day to day routine is altered and our social networks change. Suddenly we have the time to do more of the things we had always wanted to.

One of those things should include gardening. It’s good for the earth, good for your physical health and good for your spirit. Whether you have potted plants on a balcony or run an urban homestead, gardening will challenge and maintain your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

Gardening provides stress relief, exercise, brain health, nutrition, healing and boosts your immune system.

Several studies show that a harmless bacteria normally found in dirt, Mycobacterium vaccae, stimulates the immune system and increases the production of serotonin. The feel and smell of soil naturally reduces stress and increases feelings of happiness and connectedness, which support mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Gardening requires you to learn new things, to strategize and to use your creativity, all of which help protect you from degenerative brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Interacting with other gardeners is a good way to become part of a natural community, sharing ideas, gardening techniques and friendship. A community garden helps people individually and collectively.

Gardening connects us to the cycles of Nature reminding us of life’s rhythms, and reminding us to enjoy working with soil and seeds. A garden provides a harmonious space to reflect and restore ourselves, to appreciate the beauty of nature while participating and cultivating our very souls.

Naturalist Edward O. Wilson believes that Nature holds the key to health and that the love of living things, biophilia, is part of our natural affinity.  As we are part of nature, we are connected and restored by it.

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