Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dirt: The New Prozac



In a recent Outside Magazine article entitled "The Pursuit of Happiness," I found one of the "life-improving strategies" of particular interest.  
It is simply...

Get Dirty.    

 "Dirt may be the new Prozac. Working in soil raises your spirits, in part because you pick up cheerful germs while digging. University of Colorado researcher Christopher Lowry injected mice with dirt-dwelling Mycobacterium vaccae and found increased serotonin in the critters’ prefrontal cortex. Getting your own dose is as easy as taking a walk in the wilderness or planting something. You don’t need to wait until spring: even in the dead of winter you can sprout basil seeds in a pot on your sunniest windowsill."


You know, I always say, "A day without dirt under your nails is like a day without sunshine."  Who knew what I was really saying all along was, "A day without Mycobacterium vaccae under your nails is like a day without serotonin." :-)

As we start a new year with all kinds of often unreasonable, unattainable resolutions and goals, I think this is one resolution we can actually keep.

So get out there (or in) and get some Mycobacterium vaccae under your nails, and have a...

Happy New Year!  

Toni :-)

13 comments:

  1. I feel a change in myself physically when I'm in the garden. When I'm stuck inside during the winter, I crave it like chocolate. I get restless and cranky, like an itch I can't scratch.

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    1. I think all gardeners can relate to what you're saying!

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  2. Dirt or mycobacterium, sun or serotonin...it truly is "all good". Far better than comment spam (!), or even designing and working in front of a computer screen! Working with the dirt seems like an important means to accomplishing yearly goals...

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    1. What is really the best is when you finish a design and then you go out and dig in the dirt and bring the design to life :-) (I'm with you on the comment spam!)

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  3. Happy New Year, Toni. We're fortunate to live in a climate where we can get our hands dirty all year :) ♥

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    1. Hi Cat, good to hear from you! Happy New Year! Looking forward to your new word of the year :-)

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  4. Love it! I couldn't agree with you and the article more. I definitely feel my mood improve when I dig in the dirt!

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  5. I've read this someplace else in the past year or two, and I do believe it! Am counting the days to be able to dig in that soil again! Right now it is frozen, hard as a rock...probably across a big chunk of the US.

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    1. Hi Jan, thanks for visiting and commenting. Hang in there, spring will come :-) Take care this winter. I've enjoyed your posts about your sweet puppies :-)

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  6. Hi Toni, I've had far too many days without serotonin, lol. I've been browsing the seed catalogs, really should get my orders in, but can't seem to muster the enthusiasm. We're going back and forth with the really cold weather, back to the sub-zero's again. I don't mind too much, still strap on the ol' ski boots and head out for a jaunt around the farm every day, as long as I can stay out of the worst of the wind. It's my best alternative to gardening; at least I'm outside!

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  7. So true.! Go dirt! Your hell strip is awesome.

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  8. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

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