I was in my garden last Sunday, feeling really good about developing my allotment area in my beautiful garden, planting asparagus and rhubarb and picking radish for my salad! Easily pleased hey?
My allotment is MY fantastic way of switching off completely, getting physical exercise and connecting with the natural environment around me.
I know when I have been outside tending my plants and vegetables I have a buzz about me, I feel really good. It helps me relax; it’s something I do just for me. When we are ‘in your element’, there is a release of the happy chemicals which are good for us and gives us this feel-good factor.
The dictionary describes in your element as: ‘to be happy because you are doing what you like or can do best’.
Interestingly this week, there was an article in the papers confirming a study that Allotment Gardening ‘is good for your mental health’. A study found that just 30 minutes a week can improve mood and self-esteem as well as physical fitness.
Dr Carly Wood, a sports and exercise scientist at Essex University, said: “Participants who attend an allotment for a short period just once per week can experience a similar magnitude of improvements in self-esteem and mood as participants who attend more regularly for longer periods of time.”
Just 30 minutes a week spent pottering on the vegetable patch can boost feelings of both self-esteem and mood by dissolving tension, depression, anger, and confusion, the study found.
Yikes! I hear some of you say, I hate gardening!
So my question to you is, when you’re ‘in your element’, you’re like what? And doing what? Find something that helps you feels really good and is physically and mentally good for you too.
Happy Saturday folks, I’m off into my garden!