Nature Interaction: Starting early is the keyAlok Rai 2017-11-04
Gardening, in our country, often qualifies as a recreational activity for retired senior citizens. It can be messy and with few perceived benefits. Food or vegetables can be delivered at home, flowers can be bought too. So why do something that does not complement the fast lifestyle of the cities? Why bother?
First things first! Gardening is not just about cultivation of vegetables, fruits and flowers. As a matter of fact, one’s involvement in the activity itself has therapeutic value, regardless of the result. To view success in gardening in terms of the yield and size of produce is to have a very myopic vision. The intangible benefits far outweigh the physical ones. Consider this: You’re stressed and overworked due to personal and professional commitment. You get an hour off. What would you choose: An hour amidst a green garden away from the hustle-bustle OR shopping for your favorite dress? Both the options are lucrative but chances are that most will choose option one. This is simply because being in the lap of nature can rejuvenate your senses and calm the mind. And there is enough scientific backing for it. (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/how-nature-changes-the-brain/) For someone who has never experienced the little perks of nature, just try walking barefoot in the grass early in the morning. The dew, fresh air and sunlight will combine to give you a positive start to the day.
For kids, gardening is an easy and safe to connect with nature. Starting young has its own benefits. Kids, by nature can adopt habits and hobbies much more easily than adults. An early introduction to nature helps them learn about responsibility (taking care of the plant throughout its life cycle) and a greater understanding for nature and it effect on their well being. According to research, it helps kids improve their memory and focus, decrease stress, instil self confidence and improve affect and cognition. Besides, nature based activity are a great form of physical exercise too.