Did you know that gardening has immense benefits in helping improve mental health? Mental health stability is something all of us strive for. But let’s face it, sometimes, things just get us down. Depression is very common with 300 million people all over the world reporting to suffer from it. And depression isn’t the only mental health problem out there. People all over the world deal with bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, and a mixture of several at one time.
Sometimes, we find things to keep us motivated like reading inspirational quotes, meditating or doing yoga. If this doesn’t help, then we usually resort to therapy. Still, sometimes we just want to take the direction of our life into our own hands and do something that can make a difference. Gardening might be the direction for you.
How Gardening Can Improve Your Mental Health
1. Gardening & Mental Health: Connect With Nature
One of the reasons why gardening has such a positive impact on our mental health is because we connect with nature. A gardening therapy practice called “grounding techniques” is focused exclusively on this concept. It enables the sufferer to put themselves directly in the moment, which is a great practice if you tend to ruminate over mistakes or past indiscretions.
2. Gardening & Mental Health: Healthy Eating Helps
Growing our own produce ensures the consumption of healthy foods. When you eat well you feel healthy. When you feel healthy and your own hard work put that food on the table and we get a great sense of accomplishment.
Not only that, a healthy diet has been directly linked to relieving depression. At Deakin University in Australia, a researcher by the name Felipe Jacka Ph.D., conducted a controlled study titled The SMILES Trial that was published by BMC Medicine in January of 2017. The results found that a patient’s depression, no matter how moderate or severe, can diminish when they consume a healthy diet.
Healthy diets are made of colorful foods like tomatoes, greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, and most of the things you can grow in your garden.
3. Gardening & Mental Health: Go Organic
If you are going to go as far as to start a garden to help your state of mental health then you might want to consider an organic garden, free of chemical additives or pesticides. To garden well when doing it the organic way you might want to consider creating a compost.
You can do this by building a pile or investing in a composter. That link will lead you to a great review of several composters by the Backyard Boss. While building a pile is less expensive than buying a composter, these devices can help with a great deal of the composting work. Some turn saving you mixing chores and they are covered, which relieves any need to build a shelter. The composter is great for your garden and you will see the difference in your product once they get the nutrients from your own homemade compost.
4. Gardening & Mental Health: Become A Creator
When you grow a vegetable garden, the fruits and veggies of your labor will appear over time and this will give even the most negative person satisfaction in a job well done. This feeling is addictive, and you might find that your gardens grow bigger every year.
5. Gardening & Mental Health: Reduce Stress
After a long day at work or driving your kids to all their after-school activities, it is hard to wind down. Sometimes the stress can trigger our mental issues and if left to ruminate, this can lead us down an unsavory path.
When you get into your garden after a busy day you don’t have time to think about anything you experienced earlier. You need to pull those weeds and trim that hedge. Plus, all the hard work will leave you tired, which is great for a healthy mental state.
Spending time outdoors has been proven to do wonders for our outlook on life, especially those who suffer from anxiety or depression. When you garden it is hard not to be happy putting your hands in that dirt or pruning your favorite rose bush.
Sure, you can go outside and read a book. That would relieve stress too, but the garden also gives you that recurring sense of accomplishment we think is so important for your mental health.
7. Gardening & Mental Health: Alzheimer’s Aid
The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a study that showed gardening is one of the several activities that can lessen your odds of developing Alzheimer’s by half. On the same page, dementia patients who were given horticulture therapy showed an improvement in their mental and physical health.
Does Gardening improve your health?
Gardening is an activity that can have a positive effect on many aspects of our lives, including our mental state. The reality is, everything about us is interconnected. Your heart pumps blood with oxygen around your body so your cells can function and keep you alive. In the meantime, hormones regulate our sleep and mood.
When something is out of whack, the rest of our functions suffer too. So, by gardening, you are taking care of your mental and physical well-being in so many ways. Between the physical labor to keep a garden, staying connected with nature, and eating healthy foods, gardening has nothing but positive results on our mental health.