There’s something about walking into a beautifully maintained yard that can lift your spirits in an instant. While you may not realize it, having a beautiful yard can provide additional benefits to both your physical and mental health.
It’s more than just having a well-maintained space around your home to please the homeowners association, or even to impress your friends. Planning and maintaining your landscape can provide a return on your initial investment for years to come, as it can help increase your overall well-being.
Here’s how your yard and garden can help keep you healthy and happy.
1. Lower stress
Having a large variety of plants in and around your home is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress without the need for a therapist. One of the ways it does this is by giving you calm, quiet environment to get away from the stresses of work and school.
Even going out into your yard to work in it can be a fantastic way to distract from your daily grind. You get home from work, slip on your garden shoes. You grab your gloves – or maybe not – and head out with your watering can to spend some time with your flowers. There’s nothing quite as calming as feeling the damp of the earth and smelling the fragrance of blossoms and greenery after a crazy day at work!
Having a natural environment around you has been shown to reduce stress levels as well. After spending all day in an office, it’s good to get out of the house and spend some time in nature. In a professionally landscaped yard, you’re more likely to do so! And you don’t even have to hop in the car and drive to the park.
Just the act of looking out your window at your beautiful yard has a definite physiological benefit of reducing blood pressure, so you don’t even have to get outside to reap the benefits!
2. Increase your happiness
Having beautiful flowers and shrubs around you is a no-brainer when it comes to increasing happiness levels. There’s nothing quite like planting a seed, and watching it grow from day-to-day into a beautiful plant.
Having a garden helps you appreciate even the smallest things in life more than you would otherwise. Some say there is a natural antidepressant in the dirt itself that may increase your happiness levels. Whether or not this is the case, we can certainly attest to the way our spirits are lifted when we’re out working in our garden.
After spending time planning your landscape, then building it or hiring a professional to do so, the joy you feel when sitting on the bench under your trees will be increased by the satisfaction you take in a job well done.
Not only will you increase your own happiness, but you can share the joy by bringing fresh cut flowers, or fruits and vegetables from your yard to friends and neighbors.
3. Natural Color and Aroma Therapy
Anyone who has walked in a rose garden knows the benefit color and fragrance. Science is only beginning to understand how color and scent affect our mental well being. But anyone who has spent any time among plants and flowers, have benefitted from color therapy and aroma therapy in their simplest form – in a garden.
Lavender scent on a warm June day calms the mind. Pulling extra peppermint out of the garden stimulates the senses and at the same time relaxes muscles. And walking in the cool green of an orchard is a rare treat for the soul.
4. Boost Your Immunity
While we’re not suggesting that you skip your next vaccine appointment, it’s a well-known fact that ‘dirt time’ can help you build a natural immunity by testing your defenses. Add this to the vitamin D you’re getting from the sun exposure, and you have a recipe for a stronger, happier body.
5. Keep On Moving
Having a yard that is maintained, either by yourself or someone else provides an irresistible pull to get outside into the fresh air. If your grass is dead and brown, and you have no shade trees to keep you cool, you’re less likely to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
But if you have and garden that needs weeding and flowers out there depending on you to keep them blooming, and a lawn that needs trimming and watering – all give you an incentive to spend more time providing care to the plants in your yard. All this movement is a great way to keep yourself healthy and limber, even if you don’t have a gym membership.
6. Make It A Family Affair
If you have kids or even grandkids, they’ll love having their own area of the yard to do whatever they want. You can make them your partners in caring for your prize flowers, or give them their own space to do with as they choose. Make a special trip to the local garden center or nursery and let them choose plants then plan to spend a lovely sunny morning together tucking them into their new beds.
Working together in the yard to care for plants is a great way to bring the family together in a meaningful way. It’s good to get kids out of the house and into the dirt, and helping maintain and beautify the yard is a great way to do so.
Getting the kids outside can help them with school as well. Harvard University found that children who suffer from ADHD are able to focus better after having spent time outside. It also gives them an opportunity to have responsibility and success early in life as they watch their patch of earth flourish under their care.
7. Stay Smart
Studies suggest the movement associated with working in your yard may even help reduce your risk of dementia. This is most likely due to the physical effects of moving your body more, which is a natural result of working in your garden. As mentioned before you’ll also reduce stress, and stress is a well known factor in decreasing cognitive issues as well.
8. Provide Privacy And Noise Reduction
Feeling that you live in a fishbowl only serves to increase stress levels, as you feel everyone is watching you. Having a well-maintained shrub and tree barrier around your yard and home provides the additional benefits of both visual and noise barrier to the street and neighbors around you.
9. Breathable Air
You would think that just stepping outside would be enough to get a breath of fresh air. Depending on where you live, however, the air might be more polluted than inside your home. Having a green space surrounding your house with plenty of leafy shrubs and trees can help with this, as these plants are able to process the carbon dioxide and create clean breathable air for you.
These are just a few of the many reasons why having a landscaped yard can be an important part of your health and wellness plan. Not only will you have a beautiful home to show off to your friends and neighbors, but you’ll be doing yourself a favor and possibly saving yourself some medical bills in the long run.