Gardening

7 Mental Health Benefits Of Gardening

Research has shown that spending time outside is good for our bodies and our minds.

There are many benefits to gardening. Let’s take a look at 7 mental health benefits directly related to gardening.

1. Creating A New Mindset Through Gardening

Gardening is not a perfect hobby. But this is actually a good thing.

You are always learning when it comes to gardening. Always growing and developing. Trying and succeeding. Trying and failing.

Perfection is simply not in the cards. Thus gardening helps us accept that which we cannot change. Which is a healthier way to look at life in general.

2. Mental Health Benefits Of Zen & The Garden

Zen gardens are about natural surroundings. Natural surroundings are more apt to bring about relaxation and peace.

In the sixth century, Zen Buddhist monks created the first zen gardens to aid in meditation.

The garden can be an important place in which to meditate and reflect.

3. Gardening Means Less Overall Stress

A garden is a place that relaxes the mind.

The exercise alone releases direct stress-busting benefits. It pumps up your endorphins.

A 2010 study showed that patients with clinical depression who participated in routine gardening activities experienced reduced depression.Spending time in a green environment improves mood and wellbeing.

5. Gardening & Reduced Signs Of Dementia

A 2006 study showed that gardening on a daily basis reduced dementia risk factors by 36 percent.

Gardening is an inexpensive, effective, non-pharmacological intervention that can reduce dementia symptoms. It can also improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

Dementia gardens should be tailored to meet the safety, therapeutic, physical, and sensory needs of people with Alzheimer’s dementia.

How To Create A Dementia-Friendly Garden

  • Make it safe and accessible. Make sure that the garden is kept secure, with high fences and locked gates to ensure that it is a safe space.
  • Attract local wildlife. Having animals like birds nearby can improve mood and have a calming effect on those living with dementia.
  • Create a sensory experience.

6. Connecting With Nature

Gardening can be both cognitively and emotionally restorative. It helps to improve our attention span. Being in nature is like green therapy.

Being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature reduces anger and fear and increases pleasant feelings.

Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also can reduce blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. It also can decrease the production of stress hormones.

7. Gardening Makes You Happier

Scientists have discovered that the elements found in soil can improve brain functions while boosting moods. This increases serotonin produced in the brain (also known as the “happy” chemical).

Thus when you’re getting your hands dirty digging in your garden, you’re making your brain happier.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body but the soul.
Alfred Austin

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13 Comments

  1. I probably should get some flowers going again on the patio…because it is right up against where they spray, there is no point in growing stuff one can eat, unfortunately…cause tis nice to have some little cherry tomatoes to eat now and again, etc. Glad you have such a nice setup there…I remember your old ones too…and you always did manage to make things pretty!!

  2. Love you Brenda.
    I so wish my place had a place to garden. Unfortunately it is not possible. Ground too hard…backyard slopes…too much wildlife that would devour everything. I hope that my collection of house plants can fill the bill to uplift my mental state. And I do love the woods at the foot of my property with the wildlife. Ya win some…ya lose some.

  3. This morning I watered the flowers before 9:00, because today, again, it is suppose to be 90 degrees. It is now, but the “feels like temp” is 94. I’m worried that everything is going to dry up, but we will be getting rain, suppose to, tomorrow evening. But just wanted to mention the flowing petunias are really doing great in the dirt filled fountain. Dry enough now, to water daily, didn’t drown. So far, so good. But before it rains tomorrow, with wind, we will cover the statue in the center with a tarp, and tie it under the bowl. Better to be safe than sorry. Keep Cool, Brenda..Hugs from Central WI.

  4. I read this post earlier today and walked away to reflect because it touched my soul. I’m not a gardener however I completely understand how it can make people happy. I’m a firm believer that keeping our hands busy keeps our brains happy. As you know I’m a quilter, embroiderer, x-stitcher, etc. In the past year and a half I’ve found that doing things with my hands rather than sitting at my sewing machine makes me incredibly happy. I actually have found myself smiling while ‘stitching’ the day away. We must keep our brains active in some manner or form. I hope you don’t mind that I shared my passion. Thank you!

    1. Of course I don’t mind! I truly enjoyed sewing handwork, particularly embroidery and crazy quilting. But alas, my hands cannot do that now and haven’t been able to for 20 years. So now it’s gardening.

      1. Thank you so much, Brenda! I hope that one day you’ll be able to enjoy handwork again.

  5. Our daddy was an active gardener. He really loved working the soil and planting lovely flowers 💐 We had fragrant bushes also. Us girls never had the green thumb to follow dad’s talents. Although I loved mowing grass!
    Your patio is just beautiful Brenda!
    Keep enjoying 😉 it all

  6. It’s been extremely hot and the dew points are in the “oppressive” range, it’s been awful here for weeks now. I certainly hope this is not the new normal, but the forecast does not look good for SE Wisconsin. Garden chores still need to be done regardless of what the weather is like, including a lot of watering. As hard as it gets sometimes keeping up the yard work, when I am able to sit in my Shezebo in the shady part of the late afternoon/early evening with my feet up, with a glass of wine, and look around at my gardens, it is a joy to look at, relaxing and also satisfying to see what my work (along with Mother Nature) has brought forward. My yard and gardens have always been my sanctuaries away from the cares of the world. I think they serve as that for all of us who garden, whatever the size space we have and whatever we grow.

  7. Your garden is very beautiful, although how do u stay out in this horrible heat and humidity more than 5 minutes?!!

  8. Gardening has been my happy place for 65 years.
    The photo of the Mandivilla with the three stages of bloom is so beautiful.
    Is that iris reticulatta (dwarf iris) in the forefront of the green pot?
    It looks like I see an iris bloom, but judging scale from photos is hard.
    A beautiful space, thanks for sharing.