Fidget Spinners are hand toys thought to help children reduce anxiety and other symptoms of hyperactivity disorder. This idea hasn’t been formally studied but these plastic products are proving to be a distraction in the classroom, and are now banned from many.
Exercise, sun exposure and outdoor time have been proven to help with hyperactivity difficulties and relieve depression, and children need to be encouraged to play outside in nature. Gardening, whether it’s tending a single rosebush or growing a full-out family garden, just might be the optimal exercise. It adds to the time we are up and moving, requires varied postures and stretches, and maybe most importantly, it’s done outside.
The sunshine received in the garden is crucial for good health, not only for the amazing power of sun-generated Vitamin D, but also for the immediate help it provides to our immune system and our mitochondria, which are our cellular energy factories. Researchers in light therapy (photobiomodulation) consider the vast majority of us to not only lack proper sunlight exposure, but to be “fire-light deficient” to boot, as new science shows the extraordinary value of the infrared wavelengths a fire provides.
Other gardening gains include what is called “grounding,” in which loose electrons on the earth’s surface enter the body through bare feet or hands in the soil. These charged particles amazingly act as antioxidants and natural blood thinners. In addition, certain soil microbes are shown to decrease depression when inhaled.
Anxiety and depression rates are soaring, and side-effect laden antidepressant drugs are now prescribed to 1 in 6 adults. However, their benefit may be a placebo response, as clinical trials show most do no better than a sugar pill.
Joni Mitchell was right. “We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”