You have probably had someone in your life, whether it was your mom, a friend, an expert, or someone on Facebook say to you, “being outside will help improve your mood,” well, we’re going to join them in saying that… Being outside will help improve your mood!
As annoying as it can be to hear those words when all you want to do is curl up inside, being outside and engaging in some sort of activity can boost your overall mood and – get this – your mental health. However, we aren’t here to talk about just any activity, we are here to talk about bees and beekeeping! Let’s take a deeper look and as we dive into the top three mental health benefits of beekeeping.
Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Whether you suffer from stress or anxiety, beekeeping can be a very beneficial hobby for you.
There have been many studies to date that show veterans, in particular, find a sense of peace from beekeeping. Many veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) say they experience a sense of calming and that it helps them think more clearly.
Some individuals also mention that the buzzing sound helps clear all of the “clutter” inside their heads. Our own Beepods members say they find a sense of comfort when beekeeping and that it is their own “escape” from reality.
Over time, the more you practice beekeeping, the more in tune you will become with yourself. Harvard Health published an article about the benefits watching nature has on a person’s brain. They wrote that individuals who are in nature will show less activity in their prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that can lead to negative emotions. Now, if a Harvard Health article won’t convince you, keep reading to see if the other benefits will!
We know what you may be thinking, how could honey help my mental health-good thing we are here to tell you! Honey is known to contain an antioxidant called pinocembrin which helps improve the overall function of a person’s brain. This antioxidant can affect the brain in many positive ways and protect it from damage that could turn into a stroke, Alzheimer’s, or depression. Now, take into consideration, mental health can refer to a number of conditions that can show up in a variety of ways. Mental health can affect people very differently so we are only going to focus on a few ways honey can help.
Take two examples – an individual’s memory and insomnia. If you or someone you know has ever dealt with memory loss or insomnia you know it is no easy task. Insomnia has been linked to depression and an irregular sleep cycle can lead to many additional health problems. Consuming honey helps your brain release melatonin and it is also known to have tryptophan (tryptophan is why you feel so sleepy after thanksgiving). Both melatonin and tryptophan are well known as natural treatments for sleeping disorders, so give this a try. As for memory, as we mentioned previously, honey is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants can help improve the oxidative status of the brain. Other studies have also shown that polyphenols found in honey have a nootropic effect-or a protective effect- on the nervous system and can enhance your memory. And, of course, there is always the benefit of fresh honey tasting delicious!
This one may seem unexpected but hear us out! If you are in a mental space where you do not want to do anything, do not want to take care of yourself or feel just down in the dumps, having a sense of responsibility for a living thing can provide you with feelings of self worth and growth.
Having your own role and being able to care for something other than yourself brings out something innately human in everyone. Being proud of something you accomplished improves how you view yourself and it allows you to grow your self-esteem. We strongly encourage you to try beekeeping out and see how your quality of life improves.
There are obviously many benefits of beekeeping, and it is clear that engaging in this activity could make a difference for your mental health.
If you have any questions about bees or want to get started with beekeeping, contact us here! We will be more than happy to help you jump right into the education, science and fun of keeping these fascinating creatures. Try asking yourself, “have I tried doing something outside lately? What did it do for my mental health?”
Getting Back to Nature:
Helping Mental Health Patients:
Beekeeping May Reduce Stress:
Why Your Mental Health Loves Honey: