Gardening Equals Better Stress Eating Habits

stress eating

The way to find a solution to unhealthy stress eating is to give yourself a better option with your food selection. Most people actually do want to eat healthily. But when it’s the end of the day and you know the streets are packed with traffic and the stores are a madhouse, you’ll be more resistant to want to leave your home or work to go in search of healthy eating options.

Instead, what you can do is make it easy to have good stress eating habits. That might sound strange at first, that you can indulge in stress eating. It’s not the eating that’s the problem, it’s what you eat and if you change what you eat, then stress eating isn’t bad for you.

Even if you use it as a way to feel better. What you can do is to get involved with gardening. If you’re thinking that gardening would raise your stress level, you’d be wrong.

Gardening is known as a relaxing hobby 

It will offer a ton of benefits in return for the effort you do put into it. It’s not like it used to be in the old days when gardening was a back-breaking, all day, week in, week out affair.

Now, there are tons of different choices you can make with gardening. You don’t have to let it be something that soaks up all of your time and energy. Gardening is something that can be done easily and you’ll discover that it’s something you enjoy.

You can find books that will teach you about gardening from the set up all the way to the time to harvest whatever it is that you’ve planted. These step by step instructions can walk a beginner through it.

You can use methods like slow gardening if you want to. You can choose to plot out an area of your backyard for gardening and there are books that will teach you about the soil as well as the type of irrigation that you’ll need to have in order to grow things well.

But not everyone wants to use the backyard method for gardening. If that’s the case, you have options like tier planters that you can use. These planters can be placed right on a deck or on a patio and you can garden with ease.

The reason that you want to get into gardening

Is to help you with stress eating is that you can replace the unhealthy food choices you’ve been making. Studies have shown that people will eat healthier if food is readily available.

When it’s something that you grow yourself, you have direct access to the healthier, homegrown foods at any time. That means that you eat better than you normally would when stress eating.

Natural foods are packed with vitamins and minerals and the nutrients that you need for good health. They’re much lower in both calories and fat content. So you’ll be able to consume more and not gain weight as you would on high sugar, high fat stress eating habit.

If you find that you crave sugar with stress eating, you can plant fruits that will appease your sweet tooth. Strawberries, blueberries, and melons are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and will satisfy your desire for something sweet.

You’ll be able to eat without guilt and without gaining weight and causing yourself health problems. Studies have shown that one thing that people crave when they do stress eat is foods that have a crunch to them.

That’s why people will eat far too many chips or crackers when they’re stressed. It’s not so much the food as the crunch that’s associated with eating it. You can plant foods that give you the same crunch.

Foods like carrots can help

You will feel full while giving you the crunch you’re looking for. Best of all with gardening for stress eating is that you’ll have healthier foods on hand for any chaotic moment in life.

You won’t have to run out to the store when you feel the need to stress eat. You can turn to your own garden. Not only will you discover that you’re eating healthier, but you’ll experience the emotional and mental satisfaction that comes along with eating something that you’ve grown.

And another good side to gardening is that you’ll be saving money on your vegetables and fruits over what you were paying at the grocery store for the unhealthy food choices.

Gardening Influences Your Stress Eating Habits

stress eating

When you’re under stress, it can drive you toward a lot of different behaviors. One of the behaviors that it can create is the desire to eat in ways that aren’t as healthy as they should be.

And stress eating can become a habit. When you feel stressed, you want to eat and then when you eat, you feel guilty and more stressed when you eat things that aren’t good for your body.

How Stress Triggers Eating

You may be familiar with how emotional stress can make you feel. It can cause anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and long term, it can lead to depression. When you’re stressed, there are chemical changes that take place inside your body.

Stress causes your body to release hormones that make you crave the comfort of your favorite foods. These foods are often loaded with little in the way of nutrition but are packed with calories.

When people are under stress, it tends to make them eat more in the way of serving sizes than they would normally eat. When your life isn’t under stress, your body works better to help through the use of hormones to control your appetite.

These hormones work together to make sure your desire to eat is at a healthy level. You won’t have the craving to overeat. You’ll experience times when you don’t even feel hungry.

But that all changes when stress enters the picture and it’s not your fault. There’s a scientific reason that stress triggers your desire to eat. When you’re under stress, whether it’s short term or chronic, the body works to produce cortisol.

Just like other hormones work to keep your appetite at a healthy level, cortisol does the opposite. It prods the brain in reaction to stress to give you a signal that you need to eat in order to get some energy.

This is an automatic reaction within the body. As a result of the cortisol, it makes you hungry. It can make you crave food as the cortisol levels rise. You’ll end up overeating because of this elevated hormone.

When you’re not under stress, you won’t have as much of the hormone present in your body. But if the stress is chronic, the cortisol levels remain at the point where you feel the need to eat more than you should and more often than you should.

What most people do when the stress hits are they reach for the foods that are packed with sugar and high in calories. This is partly due to convenience’s sake. These foods are usually already stocked in the pantry and we’re more apt to eat whatever is on hand when we have a desire to feed the stress.

The problem is that once you eat foods that are high in fat and sugar, you experience a boomerang result. The more foods that are packed with sugar and fat that you feed your body, the more that it wants.

You can become addicted to these foods as a way of relieving stress. Even though that relief is short-lived, because you feel better after eating it, the temptation to do the same thing again will be stronger.

Foods that are high in sugar can create a feel-good sensation in the brain. It’s because of this fact that it will be easier to eat the same unhealthy foods whenever stress increases.

The problem though with using food to try to get relief from the stress is that it always backfires. You might feel better every time you give in to stress eating, but the consequences are always there.

When you stress eat with foods that aren’t healthy, you create a reward pathway that wires your brain to make eating the foods the first resort instead of trying to work toward a better solution.

The only way that you’ll find relief from this behavior is to replace the foods that aren’t as healthy with ones that are. Stress eaters will always go for the foods that are convenient. If you have healthier options on hand, then you can break the habit of stress eating foods that aren’t good for you.

What Stress Eating Does to Your Body

obesity
stress over eating

If you look up funny sayings about stress, you’ll find a lot of material. You’ll find shirts, pillows, and décor that joke about stress. While those might be intended as humorous, it’s not funny at all what stress eating can do to your body.

When you eat due to stress, you usually end up eating far more calories than your body is able to use for what it needs to run efficiently. As a result of this, weight gain usually happens.

If the over-eating continues for too long, you can end up gaining enough weight to push your BMI into an unhealthy level. Obesity is a well-known side effect of overeating due to stress.

When you carry this extra weight, your muscles have to work harder and you’ll start to notice that your joints feel this extra weight. You can cause damage to your joints from overeating.

Stress eating can take a toll on you emotionally. Even though it might calm the stress temporarily, you’ll feel guilty about it and can experience negative self-talk. Many people start to have struggles with their self-esteem due to stress eating.

When you stress eat, you learn to use the food at an emotional crutch and the desire to eat until you feel better even if you’re full is often present. Stress eating can lead to problems with your vitamin and mineral levels.

Because there’s a tendency to fill up on foods that are convenient but have little nutritional value rather than healthy ones, your body can become a deficit in the important vitamins and minerals it needs to function well.

Consuming a diet that’s high in fat and sugar can cause you to develop health problems. You can struggle with high blood pressure and run a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

You can increase the risk of becoming insulin resistant which in turn damages your internal organs, causing things like a fatty liver. Also, you raise your risk of becoming a diabetic when you stress eat.

Your cholesterol level will also go up which can lead to potential heart disease. While there’s no doubt that it’s your body’s own hormone release that pushes you to want to eat when you’re stressed, you can’t change that.

But what you can change in response to stress is what you eat. You don’t have to eat foods that will lead to weight gain and health problems. Instead, you can use stress eating to actually eat healthier if you have a way to replace the foods that aren’t good for you.

Gardening Therapy Can Turn Your Life Around

garden therapy

Whether you’re an outdoor or indoor gardener, the process of digging, planting and harvesting can turn your life around for the better by helping you get healthy and have a better outlook on life – and that includes getting a good night’s sleep.

Your life can’t be very much fun if you’re sleepy and worn out when you could be having fun. Gardening indoors or outdoors is super therapy for almost all that ails you. Indoor gardens and plants bring color and much-needed oxygen into your home.

Outdoor gardening provides Vitamin D

It helps you absorb calcium to your bones and keeps your body limber. Interacting with nature can also influence your mindset and your spiritual needs.

reading in the garden
Gardening effects are restorative

It helps you move away from the pressures, stress, and demands you may experience during the day. Try relaxing with a book or some soft music or friends in an outdoor garden you created yourself – surrounded by plants, earth, rocks, water features, and color.

It’s just a sampling of the way gardening and the results of gardening can help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Even the plants involved with gardening 

They can help you relax and put you in the mood for some shut-eye.

lavenderLavender, basil, and mint have lovely scents for your home and garden and may even be used in your favorite recipes. Studies also show that gardening is especially good for those who are planning surgical procedures.

 
 
 
 
 
 

The speed of recovery partially depends on your environment

sunshine gardening.

If you can get out to some fresh sunshine and the sound, scent, and touch of beautiful plants in your garden, you’ll feel more like getting the rest you need for a full recovery.

Gardening has been compared by some therapist as a “working vacation.” 

The rest allows for the body and mind is like a gift of time to be by yourself and with yourself. If you’re having trouble sleeping, the problem could be that your mind has no time to rest.

Stress may be interfering with every aspect of your life – and when stress is that prevalent, loss of sleep will likely occur. Gardening is a combination of exercise and manna for the mind and body.

Studies indicate that only thirty minutes per day in the garden can encourage a full eight hours of quality sleep per night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, both your body and mind are trying to tell you something.

Take the hint and change your lifestyle to one that’s more conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. Changes such as getting more time outdoors and being more relaxed at bedtime are the best sleep aids – much better than taking prescription medications that can be harmful to your health.

Gardening can also be tonic for the soul. 

If you’re feeling down-and-out, angry or frustrated when you go to bed, try a bit of gardening activity for a few minutes before retiring to see what difference it can make in the way you view your surroundings and the world.

windowsill gardenYou can open a new world by taking up gardening. Whether you have a windowsill or a large plot for your green thumb, plan carefully to plant what makes you happy, restores your senses and well-being – and helps you experience the sweet dreams you deserve.

The Spiritual Connection of Sleep and Gardening

sleep and gardeningTo get a peaceful night’s sleep, you should have spiritual peace-of-mind. You don’t have to be religious to find peace – but you do have to immerse your senses in whatever makes your spirits and your mood soar.

The sense of healing and well-being that you get from being in the great outdoors can make all the difference in relaxing your body and mind so a good night’s sleep is easy to come by.

Being in tune with the universe comes from your thoughts and it’s difficult to be in a bad mood when gardening whether you’re potting an array of flowers on your patio or arranging savory herbs on a window sill, your body naturally relaxes.

If you’ve been chained to a computer or iPhone all day or week.

chained to computer

You’ll get a new perspective on life. Gardening can clear away the trivia from your mind and provide peace from the noisy and fast-moving world we live in today.

Gardening helps to get you in tune with your search for renewal, being one with the earth and expanding our relationship with others. The seasons of gardening keep you in tune with life’s cycle – being born, planting seeds, harvesting, fighting diseases and finally, dying.

Since each and every place on earth has its own climate and geology types, you can learn about gardening experiences in various places. Gardening in Australia is very different from gardening in the United States. The hemispheres are switched and even the seasons are vastly different.

With gardening, you learn about the evolution of gardens in other parts of the world if you want and to compare it with what you’re capable of in your own climate. It’s a learning experience that’s good for the mind and helps you become enthused about what you’re doing.

When you’re most happy and content is when you can get a good night’s sleep without even thinking about it. Gardening is for meditation, learning, creating, touching, tasting and reveling in the wonders of nature.

How Gardening Helps Your Health and Your Sleep Patterns

A healthy body is more apt to relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep than one filled with stress, overweight, stiff and sore or on powerful medications. When your body is healthy, it’s much more likely your sleep will all into healthy patterns.

Gardening burns calories

burning calories gardeningHow many depends on how much work can be found in your garden. If you’re tending a window herb garden, you won’t likely burn as many calories as if you have a large vegetable garden outdoors.

But, there are many other gardening factors that contribute to your good health besides burning calories. For example, it may reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis in your later years.

Digging, planting and weeding or any repetitive activity requiring stretching or lifting keeps muscles and bones strong and keeps them from deteriorating so rapidly. Gardening may also reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other diseases, so a good night’s sleep is easier to come by.

Known as one of nature’s best stress busters, gardening is a leisure activity that should help you release stress and relax without the hassle of going to a gym to get the same results.

Those who garden were found to have lower levels of cortisol

A hormone produced by your body during stressful times. The smell of flowers and being around their beauty may also have an impact on your happiness and even improve your desire for socialization.

Children who are allowed to play in the dirt during their early years are proven to have healthier immune systems than those whose parents were overly-concerned about getting dirty.

dirty kidsThe “dirty” kids were found to have fewer instances of eczema, allergies, and asthma as the years passed. Without the bother of these symptoms to wake you up constantly, you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Vitamin D is one of the best reasons for gardening.

Vitamin D comes most abundantly from the sun and when you’re gardening, you’ll love the feeling of the warm rays that add so much to your health. Just make sure you pre-plan for times you might be subjected to sunburn.

Your health is vitally important to your sleep habits. The healing and calming powers of gardening help to keep you healthy – as does the warmth of the sun on a beautiful morning.

How Gardening Helps a Good Night’s Sleep

good night sleep

Among the many benefits of gardening, the boost in your ability to get a good night’s sleep is one of the best. Sleep has a paramount impact on your quality of life – if you don’t get enough sleep you may not be as alert and focused the next day.

Other perks of gardening include keeping your body flexible, the bounty you enjoy (whether flowers or food) and creating a beautiful spot to boost your sense of well-being.

There’s also something to be said for getting in touch with the earth. We generally live “dirt-free” lives – almost sterile in nature. But playing in the earth can be a good thing when it relaxes you and gets you ready for a restorative night’s sleep.

Even if you’re limited to gardening in pots, the act can have a huge impact on keeping your stress levels low and improving your mental and physical states. It’s a leisure activity that most can join in and create a beautiful and happy place.

The Scientific Explanation

The scientific explanation of how gardening can help you get a good night’s sleep is multi-faceted and addresses all the senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. The mental and physical health boost that gardening brings into your life is well documented as a positive influence to cultivate in your lifestyle.

If you’re subject to bouts of mood swings and/or depression, gardening is proven to provide a major improvement by addressing all the senses in a positive way. For example, digging in the dirt, tasting the bounty that you helped to grow, smelling fresh earth or plants, viewing the beauty of a well-tended garden and listening to the wind, the chirp of birds and other garden sounds can help you relax and lift your mood.

Gardening is an activity that relaxes all the senses in such a unique manner that you can’t find elsewhere. Studies indicate that people who are diagnosed with depression, mood swings and bipolar disorder and spent up to six hours per week gardening flowers or vegetables show intense improvement in their symptoms.

These people reported a much-improved lifestyle and better habits and much more luck in getting a good night’s sleep. Plus, scientists have found that a harmless bacteria (Mycobacterium) found in soil has the power to help release serotonin in parts of the brain having to do with mood and cognitive functioning.

While not as powerful as the medications sometimes prescribed for depression and insomnia, gardening does put back some help to your immune system that’s quite lacking in our environment of today.

The exercise you get from gardening is also a scientific factor in helping you finally achieve a good night’s sleep. The fresh air and sunshine are like a powerful tonic on your immune system and gets your blood flowing.

Gardening is an especially good exercise to choose if you’re limited in movement. While it doesn’t usually give you a cardiovascular workout, it does move your muscles with the digging, weeding, planting, and other gardening tasks.

Stretching and most gardening tasks are low impact but are found to greatly help those who are in their senior years have certain disabilities or those suffering from chronic pain.

Another plus to gardening exercise is that you’ll more than likely stick to the program and get regular exercise because a garden takes tending and if you want to realize the most beauty and bounty from it, you’ll want to keep up with the tasks.

Your brain health can be boosted with the exercise and other experiences you gain from gardening. Many seniors, faced with mental decline have found that simply walking through a garden is therapeutic.

Now, residential homes for those with memory problems are including gardens in their landscaping so the residents can enjoy a walk without fear from getting lost. That positive influence also extends to bedtime hours.

Your diet can also be a factor in how you sleep at night. Gardening makes you much more aware of your eating habits and gives you the opportunity to grow some foods you can eat.

Scientific surveys show that those who grow and eat much of their food from a garden are much more likely to eat healthier than non-gardeners. It’s also a big factor in helping kids eat healthier. They’re more likely to eat veggies and fruit they have a hand in growing.

Medicating for Stress Relief Numbs You

dogs show stress

You can’t take medication without experiencing changes in the way that you think and feel. Anti-anxiety medications for treating stress are known to cause changes in how you feel and cope with life.

If you’re someone who has struggled with stress, you might feel that being numb would be better than feeling everything you’re feeling. However, the medication can make it difficult for you to deal with more than whatever caused your stress.

When you take pills in the anti-anxiety class of medications, they don’t simply make you stop caring about whatever was stressing you out. They make you stop caring about a lot of things.

You’ll find it difficult to connect personally. You won’t care what goes on in your family, not because your feelings toward friends and loved ones have changed, but because the medication has changed the way your brain receives and responds to emotional information.

Taking medication isn’t effective for stress relief because it binds your emotions. You won’t feel sad. You won’t feel happy or excited. Nothing will give you pain but you won’t have pleasurable feelings, either.

In fact, you won’t feel at all. You simply go through the motions of living life that you’re not really experiencing. The medicine prevents you from finding effective stress relief and keeps you from reaching a resolution because it acts as a smothering cover.

You don’t feel the emotions that you once felt with stress so you think you’re okay now. But the problem is that you can’t move forward when you’ve been numbed to the stress. You’re still stuck in the same situation, in the same place with the same stress, but you don’t feel it so you don’t deal with it.

What’s going on is that the medication acts as a “bridge out” mechanism preventing you from crossing over the stress to get to the other side of it. This is the point where many people develop the habit of pretending they feel happy or other emotions and they often don’t even realize they’re doing that.

When it’s time to get off the drugs, you’ll end up feeling worse when you do finally stop the medication than you did when you first started taking it because the reaction and symptoms you had to the stress will still be there.

It’s always best to find a natural way to deal with whatever stress is going on in your life rather than relying on any type of chemical solution. You want something that will help you to relax and relieve stress that you can turn to over and over again that won’t end up numbing you.

Medicating Addresses Symptoms Not Root Causes

Everyone experiences stress at some point in his or her life. Stress can be big or small and can impact your life to the point it can become a struggle just to get through a day. There is a big misunderstanding about exactly what stress is.

When people are dealing with it, they believe that it’s a condition like a disease that can easily be treated if they just take some medicine. But stress is not a condition. It’s not a disease.

That’s why medication isn’t the answer. Stress is a collection of symptoms. It’s the symptoms that medicine targets. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways and no two people will feel it the same way.

You might feel anxious or worried, have fears and not really understand them. Also, you might experience an upset stomach and nausea. You might struggle with insomnia or go to the opposite end and sleep way too much.

All of those are merely signs that the stress in your life is showing up physically. It can show up emotionally, too. You can find yourself becoming increasingly short-tempered. Little things might irritate you or cause you to blow up at others.

You can have bouts of crying and not know exactly why you’re crying. When some people realize that what they’re going through is because of stress, they end up seeking a medication solution.

Unfortunately, it’s not really a solution. Treating stress with medication is a pause. If you want to cure stress or reduce it in your life, you must address the root cause that’s behind the stress.

Sometimes this can be related to your job or to relationship struggles. To figure it out, you just need to stop and reflect. Ask yourself why you feel like your stomach is in knots or why you dread facing a situation or someone.

Of course, identifying the root cause is the first step to take toward eliminating it. Once you know what’s behind the stress, you can get it out of your life or learn how to manage it properly.

But in the meantime, you’ll need an outlet to find relief from the stress. Otherwise, the symptoms will feel too overwhelming to deal with. You have to give yourself a break both physically and emotionally from stress.

What many doctors suggest for people who want to avoid taking anti-anxiety medications is to get involved in some type of hobby that’s calming. Everyone will have a different idea of what interests them.

Medicating Is Expensive, Inconvenient, and Stressful

Regardless of what type of way you pay for your medications, it can be expensive to buy medications for dealing with stress. Even buying generic medications can be costly. With some types of health insurance, you can usually get medicine to treat stress at a pretty decent price.

However, not all insurance plans will cover medications for stress that isn’t specially labeled as for an anxiety condition. Since stress is not an anxiety disorder, your doctor won’t treat it as such.

If you have insurance, regardless of which medication your doctor might decide is best for you, your insurance company has a list of preferred ones. You could be forced to take a generic or a completely different type than what your doctor first chose.

If you try one medication and have a reaction to it, you’ll have to stop taking it. Then, it can become inconvenient to have to go back and get a different script. Some medications used to treat stress aren’t able to be called in.

Depending on what they are, federal laws prohibit some from being routed electronically from your doctor’s office to the pharmacy due to their addictive nature. Plus, your doctor’s office might have a policy about calling in a new medicine if the first one didn’t work.

You’ll have to go into the office and pick up another script. If you have medication limitations per month on your insurance, this can count against you if it’s not properly booted out of the system.

Taking medication to treat stress can actually turn around and cause stress. You can’t take certain ones with alcohol because they can be fatal when taken that way. You can’t take some of them with other medications.

It can also be stressful if you end up losing, spilling, or accidentally running out of the script. You can’t simply quit stress-relieving drugs cold turkey. You have to slowly wean off of them using the tapering method.

Depending on how long you’ve been on them, it can take months to taper off. Even then you still run the risk of having to deal with withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking them.

It’s better to find more natural methods to relieve the symptoms of stress rather than to rely on medications that can cause side effects and prevent you from dealing with stress in a healthier way.

Get Vitamin D with Gardening and Boost Your Immune System

Glass of milk

Most people think that they get plenty of vitamin D when they drink milk or eat dairy products that contain the vitamin. But vitamin D deficiencies are on the rise and it’s tied into how your body deals with stress.

Whenever you’re under stress, your body starts working to produce cortisol. The more stressed that you are, the more cortisol that you produce. This cycle then affects your vitamin D or rather the way that your body can use the amount of the vitamin that you get.

When there’s more cortisol production in the body, it prohibits the vitamin from being absorbed. So regardless of how much vitamin D you get in milk or dairy products, your body isn’t getting any of the healthy benefits from it.

With a lack of the right amount of vitamin D, you’ll start to feel the effects. A lack of vitamin D has been linked to asthma. It also causes a higher rate of depression because the body isn’t producing the right amount of serotonin.

When you don’t have the right amount of serotonin, you’re more at risk for depression and other emotional upsets. Without a healthy serotonin production, you’ll feel more stressed and the symptoms may be worse.

Fortunately, there’s a way to stop the body from producing high amounts of cortisol that cause you to stay stressed. You have to to get vitamin D and it needs to be absorbed in greater amounts and easier.

The best way to do that is to get outside and start gardening. When you spend time gardening, it relaxes you, allowing the cortisol level to drop. As the cortisol level drops, your body is able to absorb the amount of vitamin D that you get from being out in the sunshine.

With the Absorbing sunshineabsorption of sunshine, your immune system gets a boost even if you’ve been dealing with chronic stress. The benefits of gardening on your immune system shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only is gardening easy and low cost, but it can provide you with healthy foods, a healthier body and a mind that’s at peace more often than not.

Gardening to Boost Your Immune System

Having a garden can be a work of art. You can plant beautiful flowers that can blossom with color all year round. Or you can have lush, delicious foods that you grow yourself. Your garden will be a haven for you, but more than that, it can give your immune system a boost.

You’d be surprised at all the benefits your immune system can gain from spending time in a garden. It’s a great form of exercise, which helps gives your body a surge of energy and hormone release.

Avoid the Hygiene Hypothesis Through Gardening

There are all sorts of warnings out on staying healthy. These warnings contain a laundry list of what you should avoid so that you don’t get sick, you protect your immune system and you don’t become burdened with stress.

The Hygiene Hypothesis is based on the belief that you can live a life so free of bacteria and illnesses that it actually worsens your immune system. You end up catching whatever it is that’s going around because your immune system isn’t strong enough.

When you add stress to the picture, your immune system undergoes even more depletion and it gets harder and harder to bounce back each time you get sick – each time you get stressed out.

The reason that all of this is coming to a head in today’s society is that we’re living in a world that’s worked hard to eradicate anything that can make us sick. Because of that, our immune systems don’t have a chance to flex their muscles, so to speak.

Any muscle, any part of your body that’s not activated on a regular basis, will automatically become weaker. When your immune system isn’t put to the test, when it isn’t pushed into activation mode, it doesn’t work as well.

It becomes puny. The eroding of the immune system is caused by the cleanliness in which we live our lives. There is hand soap containing anti-bacterial agents. Shampoos that fight bacteria can be purchased.

Antibiotics are given before surgery “just in case” and they’re prescribed by dentists and doctors to “ward off” anything that might make you sick. With the Hygiene Hypothesis, you’ll see that studies show that the problem of not letting the immune system has a regular work out contributes to many illnesses and common ailments.

When you work hard to prevent bacteria and germs from touching your life, you’re more at risk for things like allergies, asthma and skin conditions. Many studies suggest that the reason for the growing number of allergy diagnosis in kids is because the immune system doesn’t get a chance to fight off things when it’s over-protected.

When your system is over-protected, you can also end up having to fight the same illnesses repeatedly. When you add stress to the mix, your poor immune system just can’t handle what’s going on.

That’s why you need to forget about avoiding every kind of bacteria – because not all of them are bad for you. In fact, some of the bacteria help you and without it in your life, you simply won’t be as strong and you won’t be able to fight off illnesses or stress the way that it was intended for you too.

Gardening for Stress Relief

Work stress

For years, men and women have seen an alarming increase in the amount of stress they incur over a typical work week. With both parents working, and many struggling to afford and maintain a typical household, anxiety soars.

Even children are experiencing more stress than in the past now, unable to cope with the normal routines of childhood, mixed with a strong tie to technology and never-ending stimulation.

It’s no wonder that prescription medications are on the rise, and more people are seeking counseling or other therapies to help them achieve a sense of peace and calm. But amid all of this bad news, there’s positive news on the horizon, also!

Whenever gardening is mentioned, it can be overwhelming for some individuals. They picture a large plot of land filled with rows and rows of vegetables. The task can sound more daunting than stress-relieving.

But once you learn how many different variations of gardening there are, and how many health benefits it provides you, you’ll be on the fast track to becoming a gardening enthusiast, and it will all be done without any hesitation or fear of being able to handle what all it entails.Good night sleep

Gardening is going to help you from head to toe, inside out – and it won’t just be a benefit to you personally, but to your loved ones as well. Your bounty can help provide benefits for your spouse, your children, and anyone you share the harvest with.

First, you have to understand exactly what all can happen when you start growing your own plants. That can be fruits, vegetables, herbs or even flowers. It’s going to assist you in getting a good night’s sleep, in building a stronger immune system, and in helping you handle stress better. You’ll want to start relying on this natural method of getting rid of stress instead of popping pills if the matter isn’t warranted. Of course, your doctor will be beneficial in helping you make this decision, but it’s worth testing the gardening process to see how much it impacts your stress levels.

Garden will rid stress

And if your weight or nutrition habits contribute to your anxiety, then gardening can pinpoint those problems and help eliminate them, too. Fresh, beautiful vegetables and fruits can improve your health and help you whittle your waist as you engage in the process. Let’s start by taking a look at the problem with stress relievers that come from a factory, and not nature.

Superfoods That Fight Stress

Some superfood

Stress levels can soar when you overbook your life with work and social activities. That’s when many people turn to fast food and vending machines for a little nourishment. After all, it takes time and effort to eat healthily.

You might be surprised to know that there are groups of “superfoods” that can fight hunger and stress and take very little to no preparation before eating. These unique foods can help to balance blood sugar and calm emotional responses that may increase your stress levels.

The five stress-busting superfoods include leafy green vegetables, berries, beets, garlic, and sweet potatoes. These helpful foods can be eaten raw or added to meals you’ve prepared to get the most out of their natural stress-relieving powers.

How “Going Green” Relieves Stress

When you think of the difference in what fast food and junk food do to your body, you should be even more impressed by what leafy green vegetables do for your body. Leafy greens such as spinach contain folate – a nutrient that produces a chemical called dopamine – which causes feelings of calm and pleasure in the brain.

Studies clearly show that those people who consumed large amounts of folate in their diets suffered much fewer depression symptoms than those who consumed the least. This is true especially in middle-aged to elderly people participating in the studies.

Toss leafy greens in a salad or cook them lightly by sautéing or boiling. You’ll lower your risk of depression while doing your body a big favor by consuming the healthy nutrients found in all leafy green veggies.

Today, all types and flavors of greens can be found at your local supermarket. It’s also healthy and relieves stress if you grow your own. If you don’t have a garden space you can choose from methods such as container or hydroponic gardening.

While you may not think of greens as a “comfort” food, it actually does have more of a lasting comfort effect than fast foods or rich, sugary goods. Only a cup of spinach gives you almost half of your daily requirements of magnesium – the essential mineral that helps balance cortisol and stimulates feelings of well-being.

Sneak some spinach in your eggs for a delicious omelet, sauté or steam it with some garlic and be sure to add it (or lettuce) to sandwiches. Kale “chips” are a healthy alternative to other snacks.

Simply wash and dry the kale leaves, arrange them on a baking sheet, sprinkle some garlic or other herbs over them and bake until crispy. The kids will never know they’re eating something healthy for them.

If you’re concerned about your stress levels and find it difficult to control your weight when you reach for junk food during your highest times of stress, try the sweet, yet healthy, snack or meal of these five stress-fighting superfoods.

Unfortunately, today’s population has moved away from nature’s way to fight stress in favor of the fast and crave-satisfying junk foods. Most plant-based foods contain the best stress-reducing components of raw vitamins and minerals, so those should be your food choices when you’re trying to fight the onset of stress.

In today’s world, stressful days are the norm, rather than the exception. Rather than resort to anxiety and depression pills to fight the stressful life you have, reach for the five super foods explained in this report.

These foods will help take the edge off a stressful day and provide a broad spectrum of vitamins and nutrients to help your body, increase your energy and calm your mind. Fortunately, all of these foods are inexpensive and readily available at your local farmer’s market or food store.

It’s always best to choose organically-grown foods when you can – or grow your own. There are many methods today that let you plant and harvest in small spaces – or even indoors.

Find a way to get these five great superfoods into your diet plan each day and let go of the harmful foods that cause stress, fatigue, mood swings, and anxiety.