5 proven benefits of gardening on mental health

EEdgar August 28, 2023 7:07 AM

Gardening isn't just about growing pretty flowers or nurturing succulent tomatoes. It's much more profound than that. The act of getting your hands dirty, feeling the soil beneath your fingers, and witnessing the miracle of growth can offer significant mental health benefits. Let's delve into the five proven benefits of gardening on mental health.

Gardening decreases stress

Gardening has been found to decrease cortisol levels, the hormone primarily responsible for stress (stress relief through gardening). When you're knee-deep in soil, you're not worrying about bills or deadlines; you're just living in the moment. This momentary escape from the worries of life can have a profound effect on your stress levels.

Gardening improves mood and happiness

The act of seeing something grow and thrive, particularly if you've nurtured it from seed, can give a genuine sense of accomplishment (improving mood with gardening). The vibrant colors of flowers and the taste of home-grown produce can boost mood and happiness significantly.

Gardening promotes physical activity

Besides mental wellbeing, gardening promotes physical activity. The bending, lifting, and stretching involved in gardening activities provide a form of moderate-intensity exercise that's good for the heart and muscles.

Gardening encourages mindfulness

Gardening is a perfect way to practice mindfulness (mindfulness and gardening). By focusing on the sensory experiences—the smell of the soil, the feel of the leaves, the sound of the rustling leaves—you can ground yourself in the present moment, which is at the heart of mindfulness practice.

Gardening aids recovery

For those recovering from mental or physical illness, gardening can serve as a form of therapy (gardening for mental health recovery). It encourages patience, provides a sense of purpose, and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

Here's a summary of the benefits in a neat table:

Benefits of Gardening Mental Health Impact
Decreases Stress Lowers cortisol levels, promotes relaxation
Improves Mood and Happiness Boosts mood through accomplishment and sensory experiences
Promotes Physical Activity Provides moderate-intensity exercise, good for heart and muscles
Encourages Mindfulness Grounds individuals in the present moment, promoting mindfulness practice
Aids Recovery Encourages patience, provides sense of purpose, promotes healthier lifestyle

So, the next time you think about gardening merely as a hobby, remember that it's a powerful mental health tool, effectively working behind the scenes to improve your overall wellbeing.

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