Battling addiction is hard. It can cloud your mind, harm your body, and damage your relationships. However, you can recover from the damaging effects of addiction by making key life changes. One technique that works for many is replacing poor habits with beneficial ones, like gardening.
Whether you have recently failed a hair follicle drug test or simply want to overcome a personal bad habit, using healthy activities like gardening can provide a lot of benefits. To see how new hobbies can help you, consider the following.
Gardening and Distraction
When you are in the grips of a craving, it can be hard to see past it. By finding ways to distract yourself from the urge, you can redirect that energy towards something more positive. If you feel yourself becoming anxious, head outside and tend to your garden. Focus on the task at hand and fully embrace the experience. Consider how the soil feels in your hand or how a particular fruit or vegetable smells.
Giving your mind something else to focus on in a positive way can ease the desire to return to the habit you are trying to defeat, and can even be enjoyable in its own right.
Gardening and Exercise
It is well documented that exercise has a positive effect on the brain. In some cases, people experience benefits similar to being on antidepressants. Gardening can be very active depending on the task you are working on. Tilling soil and digging holes for new plants require strength and endurance while watering and weeding can also provide a physical challenge to get your body’s natural feel-good chemicals in gear.
Gardening is a Project
Sometimes just having a goal can help alleviate the stress associated with fighting your addiction. It gives you something to prioritize while creating something of which you can be proud. Let your desire to create a healthy, vibrant garden take priority over your urge to surrender to your previous bad habit. Often, the urges will subside with a bit of time, and dedicating your energy towards a goal can provide you with the time necessary for the urge to pass.
Gardening Gives You Responsibility
One of the primary reasons gardening can help is it gives you something for which you are responsible. Failing to tend to garden results in the death of the plants, so the consequences of surrendering to your addiction can be quickly seen. Caring for and nurturing plants is good for mental health, and helps you feel accomplished.
Gardening is Relaxing
Taking time to enjoy and connect with nature is associated with relaxation and stress reduction. Not only can you release yourself from the cares of the world, but you can also appreciate the rhythmic nature of many of the tasks. Time spent outdoors helps produce good hormones and burning off excess energy can lead to better sleep and a feeling of internal renewal.
Gardening Provides a Release
Sometimes fighting addiction comes with frustration and anger. While most gardening activities are depicted as soothing, you can vent some negative energy while tending to the space. Allow your aggression to come out while you are weeding or digging. Embrace the requirement for destruction to create your ideal space, and you may find yourself more relaxed than you expected once it is done.