Gardening has been recognized for centuries as a beneficial activity for both physical and mental health. With the current state of the world, it has become even more important to take the time to look after our mental well-being. Gardening for mental health does not have to be growing food, it can be flowers or herbs.
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Benefits of Gardening for Mental Health
Not only does gardening provide a distraction from everyday life, but research has also linked it to decreased stress levels, improved mood, and even improved cognitive function.
From urban window gardens to sprawling country gardens, everyone can benefit from the mental health advantages of gardening. Even the houseplants you pick up from the grocery store can help your mental health.
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The process of gardening promotes both mindfulness and relaxation, making it an ideal activity for those looking to reduce their stress levels, increase their focus, and improve their overall well-being.
To say that gardening encourages us to exercise and spend time outdoors might seem a statement of the obvious, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that what’s good for the body is also good for the mind.
Increases Physical Activity
There doesn't have to be a lot of physical activity with gardening, but there is some. Depending on your needs you can put in as much physical labor as you want. Gardening is a great way to work on your strength, some of those weeds really fight back!
It can help improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength and flexibility, and boost energy levels. Exercise is also known to release endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Gardening is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Spending time in nature and engaging in physical activity can help clear your mind and promote relaxation.
Gardening can also provide a sense of control and accomplishment, which can boost your mood and reduce stress levels. And let's not forget about a boost in Vitamin D.
Gardening can be a meditative practice that promotes mindfulness. Such as focusing on the present moment, such as the feel of the soil, the smell of the plants, and the sound of the birds, can help calm the mind and reduce negative thoughts.
Connection to Nature
Gardening provides a connection to nature, which can help improve mental health. Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and promote a sense of well-being.
Gardening also provides an opportunity to learn about the natural world and develop a sense of caring for the environment. Or in my case of accomplishment when I have food to harvest for my family.
Gardening can be a social activity, which is essential for good mental health. Joining a community garden or gardening club can provide opportunities for social interaction, shared experiences, and a sense of belonging.
Or invite friends over to help you get things planted, or weeds pulled. Gardening is something you can all do together. Pick a day to work on each friend's garden. Have some iced tea and snacks when you are finished and sit around chatting with friends.
Gardening is a wonderful hobby that provides numerous mental health benefits. From stress relief and mindfulness to exercise and social connection, gardening can improve your overall well-being and promote a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
Whether you have a green thumb or are just starting out, consider giving gardening a try and reap the mental health benefits it has to offer.
It has taken a lot of learning to get a good harvest, there have been ups and down, it is just important to remember you are learning something when things go bad.