Get dirty

Green thumbs

I never used to have a green thumb. My house was were plants came to die. Then something happened. I don't know if it was when I became a mother, or when I got sick again (and found out I wouldn't have any more children). Perhaps it was the need to look after something, to nurture something, or perhaps it was just pure chance. Whatever the case, I now have a green thumb, maybe even two green thumbs!

And thank goodness for that. Although I wasn't aware of it at the time, caring for my plants was one of the things that was going to help me out of my depression. Together with exercise, digging around in the dirt helped getting me back on my feet.  

Friendly bacteria

And there might be some scientific proof to support my experience. According to a study at Bristol University, there are some "friendly" bacteria - how nice is that! - called Mycobacterium vaccae, that have the same effect as antidepressant drugs. While digging around in the dirt, you breathe in these harmless bacteria, and they help you produce serotonin (same as when you exercise), which helps your mood. 

Buy a plant

Now, if you suffer from depression, digging through the dirt is not going to help on it's own. You need to speak to a doctor and get professional help. But if you are like me, and like to do whatever you can to get better, buying a plant might be the perfect place to start.