One more reason for you to get outside and work in your yard - new research shows that microbes in soil can actually make you happier and improve your quality of life!

Plants on Display at a Gardening Market
(Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)

If you ever needed an excuse to get outside and start a garden, or maybe plant some flowers, you now have it. Research has been done on certain microbes found in soil that have the same effect on the brain as antidepressants like Prozac. The microbes are believed to increase serotonin levels - serotonin is that good stuff in your brain that helps you feel happy and relaxed (and less stressed).

The study on the certain microbe in soil called Mycobacterium vaccae has been done on rats, and could provide some insight on to why humans feel happier after gardening, or messing around in dirt. According to Gardening Know How,

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.


According to the study, the effects from these increased serotonin levels could be felt up to three weeks later! So the next time you're feeling a little down, or just 'meh,' go outside and play in the dirt. Maybe plant some flowers or pull some weeds. You'll be making your yard look beautiful and you'll make yourself feel good. It's a win-win!



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