Gardening is more than just a hobby or a way to enhance the curb appeal of your home; it’s a powerful and therapeutic distraction to everyday stresses that can significantly benefit your physical and mental well-being. Studies show gardening can reduce mental health problems including depression and anxiety as well as being great for your wellbeing. In this article, we will explore the numerous ways in which gardening can contribute to a healthier and happier life.
Mental Health Benefits of Gardening
87% of British adults believe gardens and green spaces benefit their state of mind YouGov for HTA (2020)
Gardening can boost your mood and provide a sense of accomplishment. The act of nurturing and watching plants grow can be deeply rewarding. The colourful blooms and lush greenery can also stimulate the release of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, which can help combat feelings of depression.
Expressing and releasing emotions
As well as growing in your garden sometimes you need to be destructive to prevent plants over growing or beds becoming messy and keeping areas clean and tidy. If you feel upset or angry grab a tool and start on a gardening task. Dig up some soil or pull out some weeds. Expressing your emotion is important and expressing onto nature is a bonus, no judgement no worries.
Gardening offers a unique opportunity to escape the stresses of daily life. The quiet and serene environment of a garden can be a sanctuary for those seeking refuge from the demands of a busy world. Tending to plants can be meditative, providing a break from racing thoughts and worries.
Gardening allows you to be at one with nature, having a connection to the outdoor environment has a huge impact on reducing stress. Being outdoors helps to relax and overcome any overwhelming emotions. When it comes to spending time outside in the sunshine, it is not easy to resist, and an escape to the outdoors is your garden. Spend time sitting outside while planning your garden ideas and tasks to relax the mind.
Being in control and a sense of achievement
Being in control of your garden is great. While life can sometimes seem out of your control, gardening is a distraction and a mind focus. Gardening will stimulate your mental health and bring you positive wellbeing. Whether that is arranging plants in your beds and borders or choosing where you would like to hang your hanging basket, there is a satisfying sense of achievement when building up your outdoor space. Growing plants are a way of keeping your mind focused because it is an enjoyable responsibility. It is something you can always tend to and is a great accomplishment to see flowers blossom and fruit and vegetables ready to harvest.
Sense of Community
Gardening can be a communal activity, providing opportunities for social interaction. Joining a local gardening club or participating in community gardens can help you make new friendships, share knowledge, and create a sense of belonging. The collective effort can also create a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Physical Benefits of Gardening84% of British adults believe gardens and green spaces benefit their physical health YouGov for HTA (2020)
Fitness and Exercise
Not only is gardening relaxing but also an afternoon spent on garden tasks is a great form of exercise without even realising. Whether you are lifting pots, digging up weeds or raking over your lawn. It is a great alternative to the gym, beneficial in both being outside and zero cost. You often use many muscles around the body which burn calories as well as increasing flexibility and strengthening your joints with plenty of movement.
According to Havard Medical School, just 30 minutes of gardening are nearly comparable to playing badminton or practising yoga.
Vitamin D Absorption
Spending time outdoors in the garden exposes you to sunlight, allowing your body to produce vitamin D. This essential vitamin supports bone health and helps regulate the immune system. Just remember to wear sun cream to protect your skin from excessive UV exposure.
A study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening can lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. The repetitive and meditative nature of gardening can have a calming effect on the nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and tension.
By investing time and effort in your garden, you can reap the rewards of improved physical health, reduced stress and enhanced mental well-being.. So, roll up your sleeves, pick up a trowel and get gardening!