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.