Gardening is an excellent way to feel better if you happen to be down in the dumps. It can be energizing and it can pave the way for a more wholesome sense of self. The reason behind this cure for mild depression comes from the bacteria that live in the soil. If we are playing around in the dirt, we will breathe in the bacteria and they release molecules in our brains that act like SSRI’s (anti-depressants). People who garden on a regular basis are generally happier than those who don’t.
Taking a stroll through the woods is a great way to improve our health. The calming effects of the plants and the stillness, crispness, and cleanliness of the natural environment seems to have a cleansing effect on our spirits. Also, scientists have discovered that trees secrete oily substances called phytoncides into the air which are meant to ward off bacteria and insects, but these molecules also have benefits for human health as well. These phytoncides enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, fight depression, and boost energy levels. The Japanese call this ‘forest bathing’. This doesn’t take any specific exercises; all that is required is to simply be among trees in a forest.
Why not take a stroll in the rain? The rain always seems to have a funny smell to it, right? Well, that smell is called ‘petrichor’ and it is caused by breathing in spores of a bacteria called Actinomycetes. When the raindrops hit the ground they cause the spores to disperse into the air, causing us to breathe them in. So, since our memories are most strongly connected with the sense of smell, this petrichor could be used to our advantage. To create happy, joyful memories, just take a walk outside in a mild rainfall and simply relax and enjoy yourself. Do this every time it rains and you will learn to enjoy every rainfall for the rest of your life (instead of making you feel down in the dumps) because you will have these positive memories that the petrichor will bring back.
It is interesting to note that mushrooms have the ability to absorb oil and pesticides in the ground. This has great potential in cleaning up any residual pesticides or other chemical poisons that plague our agricultural lands if we choose to use a field for growing organic crops. Apart from this, the potential it has to clean up any remains of an oil spill on land is inspiring.
There are over 70 species of fungi that are bioluminescent, which means they glow in the dark. Any one of these amazing types of mushrooms can be a great addition to a garden or add a little extra spark to the nightlife for those night owls out there.