GROWTH MIND­SET

MIN­UTES TO PRUNE ANX­I­ETY LEV­ELS IN YOUR BACK GAR­DEN

Men's Health (UK) - - Contents -

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?

HAVE YOUR MEN­TAL HEALTH COM­ING UP ROSES

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