MINUTES TO PRUNE ANXIETY LEVELS IN YOUR BACK GARDEN
Why spending time in the garden could help you pull up stress and anxiety by their roots
For those unimpressed by the rise of veganism, we have unearthed groundbreaking research. There is an alternative plant-based lifestyle with equally impressive health benefits. According to a study conducted at Chiba University in Japan, the simple act of looking at flowers can result in an improved mood, simultaneously lowering your blood pressure and heart rate. Gazing at red roses for three minutes was found to decrease concentrations of oxyhaemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex of your brain. This suppresses your “fight or flight” response, significantly increasing your feelings of happiness and relaxation.
With the latest figures suggesting that 16 million people in Britain now suffer from mental health problems – and that the toll this takes on your life expectancy is equal to that of a cigarette habit – this is all the more reason to spend the summer months wielding secateurs.
And it’s worth reaching for your trowel, rake and hoe while you’re at it. According to separate research by the University of
Pittsburgh, aspiring Monty Dons not only have significantly lower levels of anxiety compared to others their age, but they also have half the risk of developing dementia. The scientists found this particular form of low-intensity exercise was enough to boost brain volume in areas associated with memory and cognition. Now, where did we put those gardening gloves?