A friend sent the following article. (Thanks Jan.) For me, it is very comforting to read that gardening is an anti-depressant. (I struggle with depression. “Rejection” is very difficult to live with.)
RESEARCHERS FIND THAT GARDENING SOIL IS A NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANT
Gardening enthusiasts adamantly tout the long list of benefits include stress reduction and mood improvement. But, why stop there? Could tending to a garden, breathing in fresh air and exposure to Vitamin D sunshine rays help those suffering with depression? The votes are in and experts say “yes.”
The answer lies in the actual antidepressant microorganisms in the soil.
Antidepressant Microbes in the Soil
Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) in dirt and soil naturally activate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
Together, these neurotransmitters send chemical messages to the brain: dopamine affects your emotions via sensations of pleasure and pain, while serotonin regulates our mood, social behavior, libido, memory and sleep.
When gardening, these microorganisms absorb into your skin and are inhaled with each breath. Upon entering your bloodstream and respiratory system, they quickly get to work – boosting your mood and subsiding your pain.
The connection between these soil microbes and mood elevation, funnily, were discovered by accident. Originally administered as an immune booster for lung cancer patients, M. vaccae surpassed oncologist Dr. Mary O’Brien’s expectations.
According to O’Brien, not only did the vaccae microbial bacteria improve their immune system, but patients also demonstrated a sizeable boost in their happiness, vitality and pain relief….
Lorraine here: There’s more but I’ll let you go to the link and read the entire article.
Today is cloudy–and cold!! Gratefully, yesterday’s severe storm moved East but left extensive tornado damage in several locations in south Texas. So, I’m pursuing my second favorite activity: Blogging. ~~ I may work indoors today but will venture out, soon, to refill the bird feeders. From my computer, from my blogging, I can see a dozen birds on several feeders. One female Cardinal, a Dove, and lots of Goldfinches. If I reposition myself, I might see a Bluebird on the feeder.