Gardening, in general, has been shown to have a host of benefits to those who engage in it. Most recent research shows that gardening activities and plants are therapeutic for the elderly. This is good news for those that have been raring to start gardening.
Actually, dirt is also good for the veterans who have experienced the horrors of war firsthand. Former soldiers desperately need something to help restore their faith in the world; something to make them aware of the beauty of life, and growth through horticulture can easily play that role. Nurturing plants to full growth is therapeutic and has several benefits for the veterans. Below, we explore some of them.
The soldiers coming from war are likely to suffer from an antisocial personality disorder. They become quite insensitive to what is wrong and right and do not care about the feeling of others. This can be hard to take for their loved ones who have to deal with them on a daily basis.
Soldiers suffering from antisocial personality disorder may become persistent liars in an effort to exploit other people. They can also become violent and unremorseful for their callous behavior pushing people further away. You may even know a few former soldiers that are unable to hold down a job. Well, this also could be tied to this antisocial condition.
The soldiers may display egocentrism and a sense of superiority. It is typical for people to talk behind their back especially when they show such behavior – they don’t understand them. And if drugs or alcohol are involved, then domestic violence is a possibility.
There are several therapeutic solutions for these soldiers and among them is horticulture. Yes, this activity that some people consider lowly has therapeutic effects that veterans can benefit from and become their former selves.
Is it a new Practice?
Therapeutic gardening is not something that you can call new. It has been around since ancient times – yes, that long. The patriarch of American psychiatry, Dr. Benjamin Rush is the first known psychiatrist to document the benefits of working in the garden for individuals who have a mental illness. Rehabilitative care for war veterans began using the practice as early as the 1940s. Since then, there has not emerged any shred of doubt as to its effectiveness.
How Can Gardening help Veterans?
For starters, gardening is an addictive activity that helps keep the mind occupied. It also enables you to socialize with other farmers in an attempt to find practical solutions to their wilting plant – of course, you try everything to make sure that it thrives.
But is it possible that gardening can have a positive effect on the behavior of veterans? It is no secret that horticulture can help you keep fit physically, but that also extends to mental fitness.
Gardening is quite a calming and peaceful activity that the veterans and their families and engage in. Essentially, the activity redirects their focus to making sure that the plants they are dealing with perform as they should.
It requires you to think on your next course of action. Gardening is not just about putting seeds in the ground, watering and waiting for them to grow. You will need to put into consideration several factors here and there. For example, different varieties require different watering, feeding, and lighting. Thinking about all this helps de-stress and feel that you finally have a purpose – you realize that you are finally playing an essential role in the procreation of new life – not taking it away.
The sight and scent in the garden collaborate to provide a pleasing and relaxing environment that extinguishes some of the stress that you have been carrying all along. Being around life, silence and fresh air is quite an experience that invigorates and refreshes your mind. Seeing your handiwork bore fruits can literally be a source of satisfaction. It can make you have the same feeling as a doctor that has just saved a life – well, almost.
No one can dispute the effect of gardening on your physical fitness. As a matter fact, intense physical activity has a positive impact on the health of your mind – research shows this. When you use that hoe or kukri to get rid of the marauding weed, you get an opportunity to relieve some of the stress that has been putting you down.
One good plant deserves another – really? When you decide to get involved in horticulture, you get an urge to try out several new plants. The vast swathes and green that you manage to achieve is a source of significant pride. Watching the bumblebees float around them and birds circling for the worm is genuinely satisfying. This very feeling can displace all the negativity that had taken hold of your mind, and you can finally live a fulfilling life.
Gardening can also stoke your creativity, thereby building your confidence. You will find yourself trying different designs and as you watch the flowers emerge and foliage knit together makes you feel good about yourself and what you are achieving.
Horticulture is a gratifying experience as you realize that you are finally providing for yourself. You are self-dependent. Additionally, growing your own food stimulates an essential sense-taste for taking all the fresh produce from the garden. The fresh fruits picked from the trees outside, fresh berries and sweet smelling peas all add something exceptional to your sense of life. You fall in love with all the good things, and that reconstructs a broken sense of pride.
Farming is one activity that brings people together. Having a piece of garden draws people from all over asking one question or another about your blooming plants – they want to know some of your secrets and sample some of the freshness. Of course, nature has a kind of pull that will make your friends and relatives call on you quite often.
And the adage ‘birds of a feather flock together’ applies to this situation pretty well. You will find yourself congregating together with others to find this or other solution to a problem that you have encountered when gardening. Gardening forms the central point of focus for discussions, and you become social – just like that.