5 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening

In response to the pandemic, many turned to gardening as an enjoyable form of activity and socialization. As it turns out, gardening provides more benefits than physical exercise alone.

Studies demonstrate the many positive impacts gardening has on life satisfaction, vigor and psychological well-being as well as decreased stress levels, depression and anxiety symptoms for even healthy individuals.

1. Reduce Stress

There are numerous things you can do to enhance your mental health and increase happiness, such as eating well, engaging in physical activity and spending time with loved ones – but did you know gardening could also make a difference? Studies show gardeners reap many advantages, from reduced stress levels to an improvement in immune system function – see here for seven science-backed benefits of getting green fingered!

Gardening provides more than physical benefits; it can also serve as an antidote to our often technology-dominated lives. One study discovered that participants who worked in gardens reported less stress than those working on computers; it’s thought this is due to gardening requiring you to focus both hands and mind on its pursuit instead of on everyday patterns like email.

Gardening can be an effective stress reliever as it releases feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin into your system, providing a sense of accomplishment and pride from hard work. Furthermore, gardening connects us with nature which has been shown to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety; and you don’t even need a large outdoor garden to reap these rewards–indoor gardens work just as effectively!

As part of your wellness routine, gardening can also bring many positive effects if you join a community garden. Joining can provide an ideal way to meet people with similar interests while building an informal network. In addition, classes and workshops may further your knowledge. However, gardening should never replace professional treatment; rather it should serve as an additional means towards wellness. If you are suffering from severe mental health problems it would be advisable to speak to either your therapist or psychiatrist regarding symptoms you’re experiencing and ways they could be managed effectively.

2. Improve Your Mood

gardening mental health

Gardening can help improve your mood quickly by giving an immediate sense of accomplishment and pleasure, leading to feelings of happiness and contentment that can reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

Gardening also stimulates your mind and provides you with a reason to stay active, according to research. Gardeners tend to be happier and healthier than non-gardeners; its positive effects are especially noticeable among those suffering from mental health conditions like depression or schizophrenia; garden therapy is widely utilized as an effective solution.

Gardening can help you feel connected to both nature and community. Spending time in your garden connects you with plants that offer natural sources of oxygen and vitamins; additionally, being outdoors allows exposure to sunlight that produces serotonin – an antidepressant hormone!

At a community garden, you have an excellent opportunity to interact with others and form meaningful bonds with fellow gardeners. Additionally, learning from them and sharing your gardening expertise increases both sense of belonging and self-worth.

Gardening can be enjoyed regardless of space and time constraints. Starting out by planting herbs in your own home or joining a community garden allows you to start growing vegetables and flowers of your own – perfect for cooking as well as natural ways to boost mood! However, gardening should never replace conventional mental health treatments like medication and therapy for improved wellbeing.

3. Increase Your Self-Esteem

Spending time gardening can provide an immense sense of pride and accomplishment, while simultaneously improving concentration skills – something which may prove especially helpful for those suffering from ADHD or attention deficit disorders. Furthermore, growing food in your own garden enables you to control what goes into your body while eliminating unnecessary calories found in processed foods.

Studies have demonstrated that gardening makes people happier and less stressed than nongardeners, providing exercise opportunities while getting closer to nature – something which has been linked with better mental health outcomes. One research project discovered that hospitals that give rooms featuring views of plants experience faster recovery rates for their patients than those without such views.

Gardening can help improve mental health in multiple ways, one being that it builds strong connections to nature and the environment. Many gardeners take pleasure in growing flowers or vegetables as hobbies; spending hours cultivating and caring for these species before sharing the harvest with family and friends gives a feeling of fulfillment and well-being.

Spending time in your garden even if it is using leaf blowers or secateurs can be an excellent way to relax and alleviate stress while doing helpful work. Plus, connecting with nature can boost your mood – and potentially reduce anxiety or depression! So if you want to improve your mental health by engaging in gardening as a form of relaxation or therapy, give gardening a try – you might just find it’s exactly what’s needed! Who knows; maybe gardening might even become your new passion so much that it becomes part of your routine.

4. Improve Your Relationships

Gardening provides the opportunity for quality time with loved ones without electronic distraction. Togetherness like this is essential in maintaining good mental health, as it promotes more meaningful interactions. Furthermore, gardening helps us feel connected to the food that we eat which can be particularly helpful for people suffering from depression and anxiety as diets rich in fruits and vegetables can help combat such disorders.

Studies show that gardening has numerous psychological and health benefits. Not only can it elevate mood and boost self-esteem, it can also meet daily exercise recommendations to benefit mental wellbeing. Even without access to an expansive backyard or balcony, gardening benefits can still be enjoyed even with just potted plants on a window sill or participating in community gardens.

One study demonstrated how even just a few hours of gardening can quickly bring immediate improvements in both happiness and life satisfaction. Other research indicates that those living in greener homes report feeling healthier with reduced levels of stress compared to urban dwellers.

Gardening can also help cultivate a growth mindset – which is the belief that hard work and effort will allow you to direct your destiny – which is essential in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for combatting depression. Gardening provides a perfect setting in which this belief can be tested as you must overcome weather-related challenges, pest infestations, and other obstacles which might stand in the way of reaching your goals with perseverance.

Gardening with others, such as in a community garden, offers the additional advantage of social interaction and camaraderie – two highly valuable assets during this pandemic. Furthermore, gardening with others provides an opportunity to combat loneliness and depression more effectively than any medication could ever do alone.

5. Reduce Anxiety

As strict social distancing rules eased during the pandemic, many people turned back to gardening. Studies have proven that gardening or yardwork has a beneficial effect on mental health; whether planting an Instagram-worthy flower garden or simply pulling weeds; working in your yard is an excellent way to practice mindfulness, which allows you to experience emotions moment by moment.

Walking can also be an excellent form of exercise, helping to boost both mood and self-esteem while providing essential vitamin D – linked by studies with reduced symptoms of depression.

Another advantage of gardening is how it allows us to put the growth mindset into practice – an essential element of CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). Even when your tomatoes don’t produce or your hydrangeas don’t bloom, you can learn from mistakes made along the way and use these experiences as opportunities for personal growth.

Researchers publishing in PLOS ONE conducted a study with 32 women aged 26 to 49 who participated in gardening sessions or art classes to learn about their gardening practices and outdoor activities. All were considered healthy without chronic health conditions, tobacco or drug usage or anxiety/depression issues – half participated in gardening while half attended art classes.

Gardening was associated with lower levels of anxiety among participants who had only been gardening for two weeks, likely due to its mindfulness and physical benefits, including seeing one’s efforts make an impactful difference in the garden.