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Gardening is good for mental health


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DRAPER — Hands in the soil, feet in the dirt, water giving life to a new plant. Gardner Erika Manternach says that's the perfect recipe for changing your mood.

"You know it's very meditative. The different sounds that you have outside, the birds. It's kind of just puts you in a different mental state," Manternach said.

Jason Conover, a licensed clinical social worker at Utah Valley Psychiatry and Counseling, agrees and suggests we may all want to get a little dirt under our nails.

"I think there's something inside of the human being that is both therapeutic for mood positive in grounding as far as anxiety — not tons of anxiety in just soil and dirt and very centering," Conover said.

"It's just a place to really feel the goodness of nature and to decompress from a busy work day and a busy life in general," Manternach said.

And if growing life doesn't change your mood, just basking in the sun should. Conover said even 10 minutes makes a difference.

"When the sun is first coming up, to just face that and just absorb that the sun is one of the most wonderful things to start the day," Conover said.

But the key is leaving the technology inside.

"That's one of the big drawbacks with technology is we may be focused on the box, not on the sun, not on the earth," Conover said.

It also takes some hope and patience.

"Good stuff — going to make some good veggies," Manternach said.

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UtahYour Life - Your Health
Erin Goff

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