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Woman laughing surounded by flowers with the text How Gardening Can Improve Your Mental Health

How Gardening Can Improve Your Mental Health

Table of Contents

Magical events happen every day when you are in a garden. It is a wonderfully adaptable medium that can save lives. Mental Health Gardening Therapy can encourage people to recover from a wide range of situations. Our society tends to put a lot of focus on physical health and in order to better describe exactly why mental health is so crucial in our world today. Please read more below.

What is mental health?

Mental health involves our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social well-being. It influences how we think, perceive, and behave. It also helps define how we manage stress, relate to others, and make decisions. Mental health is critical at every step of life, from infancy and adolescence through adulthood.

Why is mental health so important?

If you experience mental health difficulties, your reasoning, attitude, and performance could be affected. A lot of factors add to mental health difficulties. Positive psychological well-being allows people to achieve their full potential. Well-being can be defined as assessing life positively and feeling great.

Poor mental health can negatively affect physical health, or vice versa leading to an increased danger of some conditions. Stress, depression and other mental problems can affect your physical capabilities and show effects on your skin, hair, digestive system, body weight and so on. That’s why it is so important to work on your mental health.

Hands uncovering a green plant in drought land to symbolize that gardening helps to improve mental health

 

Reasons why gardening is the best therapy for you

Our society becomes more technologically dominated and increasingly nature deprived. More people spend a lot of time indoors, leading an extremely inactive, disconnected, unhealthy, and synthetic lifestyle. Here are common reasons why we need to go back to basics.

1. Gardening helps us unwind

A garden is a place for enjoyment and relaxation. They are places where the grower is allowed to have the freedom of expression, creativity, and where the grower can be at peace, perceive and be actively connected with nature.

2. Working with nature releases happy hormones

When we are in the garden, levels of serotonin and dopamine increase (hormones that make us feel great) and the level of cortisol is reduced (a hormone linked to stress). It is real that a session in the backyard can be tiring, but it can also get rid of excess pressure so you can have a sound sleep and finally feel renewed within.

3. It includes mindfulness

Gardening is unique from other activities such as baking or knitting. It actually connects us to the earth. Working with soil, farming, being patient, nourishing seedlings contributes a valuable lesson for our individual lives. It means that people don’t notice the time passing. They are not overthinking on problems while gardening.

Old woman with a smile in her garden

4. Looking after plants gives us a sense of responsibility

Gardening helps deepen the love of the magic of nature. It lets us all be nurturers. Listen. Feel. Smell. See.

5. It allows us to release anger and aggression

Why hit the wall or yell at the dog when you have a bush to cut? Tired people usually feel overwhelmed, and planting can be a helpful way of gaining a feeling of control.

6. A natural antidepressant

Gardeners smell the bacteria and have a physical connection with it. The natural outcomes of the soil bacteria may be felt for up to three weeks. Mycobacterium vaccae activates a group of neurons that generate the brain chemical serotonin, which improves mood.

You can also grow herbs for teas or cooking that help with depression and other mental problems. There are plenty of plants that you can grow for your own “organic pharmacy” such as chamomile, curcumin, and green tea.

7. It promotes brain health

Gardening exercises your brain as well as your body. It includes a decrease of pain, improvement in concentration, reducing stress and a reduction in falls and accidents. It helps people with a variety of mental health difficulties, including officers encountering post-traumatic stress.

8. It helps to learn how to let go

Gardening is a sort of ritual concerning both the giving of life and acceptance of its end. It symbolizes regeneration. Being with the plants and flowers tells us to breathe in the present moment. That is why we design gardens of memory and mark the scattered ashes and tombs of our loved ones.

How is gardening used as a mental treatment?

There is increasing proof that gardening gives valuable human health advantages. Here are some of the techniques on how gardening can help your physical and mental wellness, and how you can begin harvesting those perks for you and your family.

Horticultural therapy

Specialists now say horticultural therapy is effective in managing mental illness. It is the total opposite of the traditional mental health approach, where patients are often administered with little more than medicine and end up in their own isolated room with nothing to do but stare at the four corners of the wall. In horticultural therapy, they are quickly and continuously involved in a world of plants that need their attention.

Physical exercise

It is one way we can increase the substance called serotonin (happy hormone) in our bodies. Basic gardening activities like digging, weeding, and watering need movement, effort, and energy.

Hands which are potting plants

 

Meaningful exercise

Gardening creates something useful. There is an end-product that will sustain your family and it has a purpose.

Learning new things

Acquiring a new craft or piece of knowledge adds to fulfillment and contentment. There are limitless possibilities to learn while growing, and the experience gained pays off in a visible result which can help build a great sense of wellbeing.

Social life

It can be a community garden, talking over the fence to a neighbor, swapping veggies. There are various access points to a wider population of gardeners.

Giving

The act of giving is very compelling. It encourages so many of the emotions that lead to improved subconscious health. Seeing someone happy because of what you have done, tells us that we do have the power and the capacity to improve a situation, to influence positivity.

Hope

Gardening is all about hope. You plant seeds, and you provide it what it needs, and then you hope that there will be a good result in the future. Growing is a physical description of exactly that process.

Mindfulness

It fights aspects of mental distress like worry, continually catastrophizing about the future, or regret, living in the past to a harmful degree. Planting takes you out of your head and into your hands where you can concentrate on the current task effectively.

Two women (one younger, one older) laughing surrounded by plants with the text: Mental Health Problems? Start Gardening Now!

Achievement

The production of plants, flowers, fruits or vegetables from your own work, that you can then use to sustain yourself, is a great aid to self-esteem that can’t be undervalued.

Fresh air and daylight

The modern lifestyle does not suit the way our brains and bodies developed to function. There is strong evidence to suggest that spending time in nature, sensing the soil, and absorbing some sunshine promotes not just physical wellness, but emotional wellbeing.

Grounding techniques

It helps people disconnect from emotional pain by reconnecting with the outside world and the present time. While some patients get their hands muddy on a regular basis, others simply savor the garden from a bench. It is a way to wake up individuals’ minds, encouraging them to come out of their painful situations and connect with the outside environment, whether by taking a walk or looking at colorful flowers.

Mental health is certainly an essential subject in today’s community and deserves proper care. One must completely embrace wellness to develop the mind, body, and soul, in order to maximize the potential for you to lead and live a productive life. You are taking the right step in the right direction by preparing your own garden. Be comfortable and feel at home.

Picture of Jesse James
Jesse James

Jesse James, an Army Veteran, now shares his passion for gardening through engaging articles on Greenhouse Emporium. Leveraging his experience and love for nature, Jesse provides practical advice and inspires others on their gardening journey.

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