Gardening and mental health
For most people, gardening is just like any other hobby. Research however shows that there is more to gardening than just passing the time. Gardening has been linked to improved personal well-being and mental health. Growing and caring for just a few plants on your garden goes a long way in improving your mental health, one of the reasons gardeners are always in a jovial mood. Outlined below are some of the ways gardening can be beneficial to your physiological health.
Gardening is another form of mood-boosting exercise
The fun in gardening comes when you have to rake, dig, lift a few things here and there, and even weed to help keep the small ‘heaven’ in the best shape possible. All these activities take some bit of muscle and strength to accomplish, hence qualify to be termed as mood-lifting exercise. Most of these activities only take thirty minutes or less, though pushing the lawn mower, rake, or even digging makes you break a sweat, hence no need for you to go to the gym.
Regular body exercise is essentially needed for overall good health. It is when we exercise that brain cells produce/release endorphins – chemicals known to make up more productive while lifting our moods. Since you have to garden at least once or twice a week, the otherwise gentle gardening exercises help lower stress levels, hence suitable for you.
It improves your exposure to sunshine
Exposure to natural light, and especially sunshine is known to trigger the increased release of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps stabilize our moods and fight stress-causing hormones. The little time spend outdoors enables the body to release more of this hormone hence helping you fight lethargy, anxiety, and depression.
Exposure to the morning sunshine not only enables the body to produce Vitamin D but also stimulates increased production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for promoting sleep and regulating our internal clock. A day spend in the garden, therefore, translates to better sleep at night.
Gardening gives you a sense of achievement
We have all reached a point where we felt like we didn’t have a purpose in life. It is at that moment that you need to be uplifted and reminded of what you have achieved so far. Gardening gives your life meaning in that; you can already see the achievement with the plants growing healthy and producing fruit. It also gives you a sense of responsibility whereby you not only get to take care of the plants but yourself as well.
Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are a common issue with many people today. While therapy may help overcome these, gardening has proven to be a more proactive way to deal with low self-esteem and lack of confidence in many people. Simply seeing your veggies grow, and harvesting them is not only fulfilling but satisfying at the same time. This gives you a reason to smile thus uplifting your self-esteem. The fact that you will be eating healthy, and from your produce gives you a sense of self-sufficiency, a known antidote for anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Gardening provides a way to socialize
If struggling with self-confidence and finding it hard to meet new people or make friends, gardening can help break the barrier. This can be as simple as joining community gardening communities where you get to meet other ‘gardeners.’ With the participants having similar interests as you, picking up a conversation and making new friends will be much easier. In other words, gardening will help you bond with other people as you talk about the things you love about gardening.
Thanks to gardening, you get to connect with similar-minded individuals within the neighborhood and online as well. If finding it hard to make new friends, you can use a feature in Farm Garden to find the nearest gardening community in your area.
Reconnect with nature
The simple act of gardening helps one connect with and appreciates nature. Most people attest to feeling relaxed and happier while and after gardening. This is especially so when the garden is outdoors, in the balcony, or anywhere where the greenery makes you appreciate nature. Gardening also helps relieve the daily stresses of life by staying away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
You can also use the garden for meditation as well. The greenery and fresh air from the garden help the brain relax even better. This is not just any other hobby; you can use gardening to improve your mental health. Try it today to see/experience the difference.