Gardening is a great hobby. It can be a lot of fun to plant new veggies or flowers and to watch them grow and bloom. In fact, there is plenty of research that shows that there are several benefits of gardening for improved mental health and well-being.
Let’s look at some of the great ways that gardening can be beneficial to your mental health!
Provides a Healthy Escape
These days, a lot of people turn to their phones or the internet as a way to escape, but gardening can be a healthier alternative. While there are plenty of healthy escape methods, gardening is a great way to get outside and experience nature while simultaneously getting away from stressors and triggers that may cause you stress or anxiety.
In addition, gardening encourages healthy eating. While some gardeners focus primarily or solely on flowers that you probably are not interested in eating, there is also the potential to grow vegetables or fruits. Healthy eating is good for both physical and mental health. Plus, it can be very satisfying to eat food that you grew yourself and can encourage healthy pride and better self-esteem.
In fact, gardening is often used as a part of the treatment plan for those suffering from addiction. This is because it is a healthy hobby that can be substituted for drug and alcohol abuse. It provides the necessary connections, stimulation, and escape that many recovering addicts crave.
There is a growing number of programs that use gardening to help teens recover from substance use disorder. In addition, you can find a lot of great resources about teen drug and alcohol abuse at BetterHelp. Knowing the signs and risk factors can help a lot when trying to help a teenager who may be struggling with substance use.
Gardening is known to be good for reducing stress levels. It can be a great way to get away from the typical worries of your daily routine and to destress doing something enjoyable and healthy. In fact, research shows that it could be very beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety and that it may be better for this than reading.
Gardening can also spark your creativity and allow you to feel rewarded by the growth of the plants you care for. This can release beneficial neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that are important for well-being and happiness.
Gardening may also allow you to gain a new perspective on your stressors that may make them seem less significant. You may find meaning in doing something to help the growth of these plants and may even want to share your veggies with your neighbors.
Gardening can also make us happy. Multiple studies show that gardening can improve mood and even increase your self-esteem. Tending to a garden may reduce symptoms associated with depression and this effect could last for a long time, well after the gardening ceases.
Furthermore, gardening places us in a natural environment. Nature can be relaxing and boost your mood on its own. Natural settings have been shown to improve anxiety and depression and just a short time outside may improve both physical and mental health.
Mindfulness meditation can be greatly beneficial to your mental health, but it isn’t for everybody. However, gardening can have some of the same benefits because it allows you to be mindful and focus on the present moment without judgment.
While you are gardening, try to listen to the sounds of nature and soak in the surroundings and experiences. You can even let your thoughts pass with examination but without any judgment. This may bring forth a feeling of relaxation and help you to destress and enjoy the time with your hobby and yourself.
We all know that exercise is important for physical health, and it can benefit mental health as well. However, that does not mean that we are actually exercising enough. Gardening can go a long way towards getting enough exercise for overall health and well-being.
Exercise can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease as well as your risk of developing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise releases healthy endorphins in the brain, which can help us relieve stress and pain. They can promote a positive feeling and have a positive impact on our emotional state.
Gardening and other lawn work use more muscles than a lot of people realize. It can help us lose weight and even help us to get a better, more restful night’s sleep. Plus, it doesn’t seem as daunting as going to the gym or for a run at 6 in the morning.
Better Memory and Concentration
Gardening may help us to improve our cognitive functions. In fact, one study shows that it could be good for people who suffer from dementia by sparking the growth of memory-related brain nerves. This is one of the uses of horticulture therapy as well.
Additionally, gardening may offer some additional benefits to cognition. It may help us increase your ability to concentrate and lengthen your attention span. It may help us relax while completing tasks and cause us to be distracted less easily. Finally, it can even boost decision making and problem-solving abilities.
Helps us Connect with Other People
Social interaction is important for humans and gardening can help to foster healthy social connections. There is evidence that some types of gardening and related activities could promote social interaction. This could help you build a better social network to support you when you face some difficult challenges in the future.
Gardening can teach you new skills and help you form relationships with other people. It can also help you develop a growth mindset and encourages you to try new things. All of this can help you improve your livelihood and well-being.
Reduces Risk of Illness
Being outside gardening helps us to get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, the sunlight vitamin. Getting enough Vitamin D can help our body function properly and can also improve your immune system. This can, in turn, help with mental health as well and helps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and dementia.
Also, research shows that spending time outside may do a lot for reducing the risk of a lot of different illnesses. In fact, it could help you prevent prostate cancer, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and more.
If you had any doubts about gardening being a healthy hobby, then this article should ease your mind. In fact, it may have made you want to garden even more! It can be a great way to encourage more exercise and help you relax after a long day or week at work. It can also promote mindfulness, improved sleep, and reduce the risk of developing several illnesses including cancer and depression.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.